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General News of Wednesday, 27 April 2016


British fugitive McDermott fights extradition with injunction

In a swift move to stop his extradition to the United Kingdom (UK) to face drug-related charges, lawyers for British Fugitive David McDermott have filed a motion for an injunction at the High Court.

They are seeking to restrain the Attorney-General, Marrieta Brew Oppong-Appiah and the Interior Minister Prosper Bani from extraditing the alleged British drug baron.

The court, presided over by Justice Merley Efua Wood on April 12, 2016 ordered his extradition which is expected to take place after fifteen days.

Barring any last minute change McDermott is expected to be sent to the UK tomorrow to face three counts of conspiracy to contravene Section 170 of the Customs and Excise Management Act, 1979; conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of Class A, and conspiracy to blackmail for being been part of a gang that smuggled 400 kilogrammes of cocaine, with a street value of £70 million, from Argentina to the UK.

Speaking to Joy News’ Raymond Acquah, lead counsel for McDermott, Victor K. Adawudu said the injunction is to allow the court hear their appeal on grounds that the trial judge erred in ordering the extradition.

Responding to questions that this intervention is too late and that it is less likely to stop the state from going ahead with the extradition, Mr Adawudu said the “state has previously abused the process with impunity and if that’s what they want to do now, we will see what will happen, because we know under the circumstance, they cannot overreach the court by extraditing him”.

Adawudu had early on argued that there was no basis for the extradition because the prosecution was relying on the wrong extradition treaty. He also claimed the alleged drug-related offences are not extradition offences.

But the judge disagreed with him saying there were sufficient grounds for the Brit to be extradited and ruled the suspect had 15-days to show why he should not be extradited. She also dismissed arguments that narcotic related issues are not extradition offences.

The judge then remanded him in prison custody till his extradition warrant is issued. The motion for the injunction is expected to be heard next week.