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Bob Hodge, Tico Harrigan lose extradition case

Magistrate Shawn Innocent has ruled in favour of the United States Justice Department’s bid to extradite Earl ‘Bob’ Hodge and former Customs Officer Roberto ‘Tico’ Harrigan from the British Virgin Islands.

The men were remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison following the magistrate’s decision today, November 14.

Hodge and Harrigan now have 15 days from today’s hearing to file a habeas corpus, which effectively means that the men will attempt to appeal the magistrate’s decision at the High Court.

Hodge and Harrigan are jointly being represented by attorneys Patrick Thompson and Stephen Daniels.

The embattled duo was arrested on February 7 this year when members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) acted upon new warrants they had received from the United States Justice Department. Magistrate Innocent had granted bail to both men since then.

Background

This was the latest of at least three attempts that the United States made to have the two men extradited.

Initially, they were seeking to extradite four. The other two men were Carlston Beazer and Chad Skelton.

In the year 2012, then High Court judge Justice Albert Redhead ruled that the men were NOT to be sent to the United States.

Following that ruling, the prosecution obtained new evidence against the four men, and then Governor Boyd McCleary issued an Order for a second extradition hearing to take place.

The four men, through their attorneys, challenged the Governor’s order through a judicial review, which was heard by Justice Vicki Ann Ellis.

Justice Ellis ruled in 2015 against the Governor’s Office Order to have the second extradition hearing.

All four initially sought were then released from police custody in late 2015, after they spent more than three years behind bars trying to fight the extradition requests in court.

The quartet, in the meantime, was slapped with local charges. But the prosecution dropped those while it pursued the extradition matter without success.

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15 Comments

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  1. Reply says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

    This development comes as no surprise. When the first extradition attempt failed, it was my thinking then that the US was not going to go away quietly into the sunset. The accused just had a temporary victory. It was just a matter of time that this day arrived.

    The US authorities are very persentant giving they have unlimited financial, legal, and treaty reasouces to get whomever they set their eyes on.

    I have seen cases that took them years before they got their men after sometimes repeated failed extradition attempts. Their strategy is to be persistent and drain their accused financial pockets until they no longer can afford effective counsel. Furthermore, its not unusual for local jurisdictions facing an extradition request from the US to ultimately give in to the US wishes.

    I dont wish to get into conspiracy theories, but thats the way the cookie frequency crumbles.

    Rember Manuel Noriega, the former President of the Phillipines accused by the US of illegal drug running? Well, the US plucked him out of the Phillapines, convicted him, and left him to rot in an America jail.

    After spending considerable time in a US prison, the French wanted a piece of him, and the US shipped him off to France to do more time. By the time they were done with him, and sent back to the Phillipines, he was in a wheel chair and under house arrest and at a military hospital for crimes he allegedly committed there until he took his last breath.

    I have no knowledge of the accused alleged drug runnings, but let me say this to anyone contemplating drug running in any form. There are two main consequnce of getting involved in such activities: an early death or long prison times. Not good choices.

    Anyway, these men have a right to appeal this decision, so we still have a little way to go before they may be flown out. As the saying goes: its not over till the fat lady sings. IMO, she put on her dress and her lipstick and she cleared her throat tonight.

  2. Cigna says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    Is the BVI attorney, wanted in the U.S., next?

  3. outsider says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    Your facts are wrong. Noriega was from Panama.

  4. Eagle eye says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

    Why are countries still playing into america out dated games.

  5. Albion says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Whatever way you look at this, the BVI does not come out looking good. FIVE YEARS and we are still messing around with this extradition request? How slow can the courts possibly be. This isn’t even the real criminal trial – that follows next.

  6. Smh says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Doesn’t matter how long it takes, where who from, what appeal they take. US and England does slap each other back so eventually by hook or crook they going. All the money on appeals is to pay off the lawyers to make them fat by the time you ready to be handed over you will be broke. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

  7. gwen says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    THE U.S ALWAYS GET WHAT IT WANTS. unlimited resources.

  8. conto says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    well, well, well, off to merimaka they go

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