BVI News

Court to make ‘bail’ decision in drug case Monday

Bob Hodge

Bob Hodge shortly after being released from jail in 2015

A magistrate in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) will decide on Monday (February 13) if Earl ‘Bob’ Hodge and former Customs officer Robert ‘Tico’ Harrigan will be granted bail.

The men, who United States authorities want in relation to alleged drug running, appeared at the Road Town Police Station yesterday for a special bail hearing.

They are being represented by attorneys Patrick Thompson and Stephen Daniels.

The attorneys have made submissions, and now have a weekend wait to hear the ruling that will be handed down by a magistrate who was reportedly brought into the territory to hear the extradition case.

The hearing took place behind closed doors as neither the media nor relatives of the accused men were allowed inside the makeshift courtroom.

Yesterday was the second time this week that Hodge and Harrigan appeared before the special sitting of the court.

They were arrested on February 7 when members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) acted upon warrants they received from the United States Justice Department.

This is the latest of at least three attempts that the United States is making to have the two men extradited from the British Virgin Islands.

Initially, they were seeking 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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