Fugitive Troy Thomas is en route to the United States to face justice for criminal acts he allegedly committed in New York in 2011.
A statement from the US Embassy today said that this evening he will be in the custody of the New York Police Department, and tomorrow morning he will appear before an American judge in court, to face charges.
The statement said that Thomas’s extradition reflects over one year of close coordination between the Government here and the US Embassy.
In 2011, Thomas allegedly committed murder and other crimes in New York and then fled to Guyana. The statement noted that in 2018, the US Attorney General and Secretary of State sent an extradition request to the Government of Guyana, which the Embassy served to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Guyana Police Force officers detained Thomas in 2018, and he had remained in the Lusignan prison since then. Thomas exhausted any further right to appeal under the Guyanese constitution at midnight last night, the statement said.
“The Embassy especially thanks the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Prison Service, the Minister of Public Security, and the staff at Cheddi Jagan International Airport, for their close cooperation and commitment to justice.
“Corruption and criminal activity rob the Government and citizens of Guyana of money that could have been spent on education, health care, and important infrastructure work. Extraditions are an important law enforcement tool in fighting transnational criminal organizations. Today, a fugitive from justice is being extradited to the United States to stand trial, creating a new precedent”, the statement added.
The US Embassy noted this positive step forward and commended the Guyana Government.
US Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch said, “The Government of Guyana’s actions over the past year clearly indicate its dedication to law and order and established norms of international criminal justice – Guyana is moving in the right direction. Establishing a roadmap for future extraditions, bringing a fugitive to justice, making Guyana a safer place for Guyanese citizens – this is the best example of rule of law existing in Guyana.”
On April 4 this year, Thomas lost yet another bid in a series of challenges mounted to fight his extradition to the US.
Throwing out his challenge, Justice Navindra Singh found that there was sufficient evidence to have warranted Thomas’ committal for extradition.
During the hearing dismissing Thomas’ challenge, Justice Singh ruled that Principal Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus was within her jurisdiction to conduct committal proceedings and to have issued a warrant of committal for extradition against Thomas.
Thomas’ primary challenge to his committal for extradition had been that Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan had no legal authority to authorise the magistrate to proceed with the committal and, further, that the magistrate had no legal authority to continue on with those proceedings since they purported to act in accordance with sections of the Fugitive Offenders Act that are unconstitutional and in furtherance of the 1931 treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States, which is not incorporated into Guyana’s laws.
Following the conclusion of extradition proceedings against him on November 30th last, Magistrate Isaacs-Marcus, who presided over the case, overruled a no-case submission which attorney Nigel Hughes had made on behalf of Thomas, thereby ordering that he be extradited.
Counsel’s argument had been that a magistrate, being a creature of statute, was not empowered to interpret and or apply the provisions of a treaty which had not been incorporated into the provisions of the domestic laws of Guyana.