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.
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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