General News of Thu, 31 Mar 201620

No legal basis to extradite British fugitive - Defense lawyer

The investigator for British fugitive David McDermott has denied suggestions that there was no basis to arraign the fugitive for extradition to the United Kingdom.

Detective Sergeant Marcus Yawlui, who was answering questions under cross-examination, disagreed with the Defence Counsel that there was no extradition treaty between Ghana and UK hence the extraction was baseless.

McDermott, 42, is wanted for his role in a conspiracy to import £71 million worth of cocaine into the United Kingdom in 2013.

Currently McDermott is being held over conspiracy to supply cocaine.

He was apprehended in Ghana on March 11, this year, based on an extradition request issued by the British High Commission to the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Ghana.

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According to Sgt Yawlui, he could also not tell that all extradition proceedings were governed by law under the Extradition Act of Ghana.

The investigator disagreed with counsel for the fugitive, Mr Victor Kojogah Adawudu that the treaty which the state was relying on was “dead and gone” and same had been repealed.

According to the witness, the treaty between US and UK was signed in 1932 and at that time, Ghana, which was known as the Gold Coast was a colony under UK and, therefore, the treaty was not binding on Ghana.

When asked by the Defence Counsel as to the number of items that had been away from the fugitive, the investigator said he only had in possession the two passports.

When the Defense Counsel said the fugitive’s Toyota Tundra, a laptop, a camera and other personal effects were taken away by the Police, the investigator said he was not aware of those items and added he would provide the court with the inventory.

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Defence Counsel, therefore, prayed the court to order the investigator to make available the inventory.

The court presided over by Mrs Justice Merley Wood adjourned that matter to April 5 to enable the fugitive call a witness.

Meanwhile defence and the prosecution are to address the court.

At the earlier appearance in a circuit court, McDermott’s charge of engaging in prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs, had been withdrawn.

On May 16, 2013, McDermott and four others were said to have held a meeting at KFC in Liverpool UK and discussed the importation of the 400kg of cocaine that was intercepted in beef imported from Argentina.

Source: GNA

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