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Jamaica: Court reserves judgement in extradition case

By CMC

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Feb 13, CMC – The Home Circuit Court has reserved judgement in the application by Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal in which he is challenging his May 2, 2018 extradition to the United States.

El-Faisal is wanted for allegedly using a number of Internet-based platforms, including WhatsApp, to persuade individuals around the world to travel to Syria to “take up the cause of the jihad”.

But the three-judge panel has reserved its ruling after two-day hearing where attorneys from the Attorney General’s Department (AGD) and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) rejected the claims by attorney Bert Samuels, that his client’s right to due process was breached because the original material was not provided.

They also rejected the argument that the extradition request by the United States was not made in good faith.

AGD attorney, Althea Jarrett, said that el-Faisal had an opportunity to challenge the evidence and that he could not argue that his rights were breached when he made no such application during the committal hearing.

She told the court that an extradition hearing was different from that of a criminal trial and, therefore, was not subject to the same rules.

Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Jeremy Taylor, told the court that the right to discovery does not raise the issue highlighted by Samuels and that el-Faisal exercised his right to silence.

He said the cleric also had a right to speak and to state his case.

Taylor said that extradition is between a state and another state, not between the courts of the respective nations and that despite the introduction of a new Charter of Rights in 2011, a ruling by the Court of Appeal, which set the precedent on how extradition hearings should be conducted, still stands.

He said in order for el-Faisal to avoid extradition he must prove that his right to a fair trial will be compromised.

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