BVI News

EXTRADITION: Magistrate denies bail to Hodge, Harrigan today

Hodge and Harrigan appeared in a makeshift courtroom at the Town Police Station today.

Magistrate Shawn Innocent today denied bail to Earl ‘Bob’ Hodge and former Customs Officer Roberto ‘Tico’ Harrigan.

Hodge and Harrigan were remanded yesterday after Magistrate Innocent ruled in favour of the United States Justice Department, which was seeking to extradite the duo from the British Virgin Islands.

The embattled men returned with thier attorneys today to apply for bail.

They were seeking to be released from custody while they attempt to appeal the extradition ruling through a process called habeas corpus. 

The habeas corpus must be filed within the next 14 days.

The men are being represented by attorneys Stephen Daniels and Patrick Thompson.

Background

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.

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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