Tuesday, 20 March 2012 02:30
By caribarena news
Antigua St John's - “There is no jurisdiction of the court to grant any such stay in these matters. (Leroy) King could not be extradited when a writ of habeas corpus was filed on his behalf.
The applicant (King) does not have an entrenched right of appeal. In some cases the leave of the court must be sought."
These were the submissions of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Anthony Armstrong, who addressed the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal on an application for a stay of execution filed on behalf of his client, Leroy King.
King, the former administrative head of the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC), wants the Court of Appeal to stay a decision made by High Court Judge Justice Mario Michel to commit him for extradition to the United States.
King is facing 21 counts relating to wire, mail and securities fraud filed by the United States (US) government. The court committed him for extradition on 11 of the 21 counts.
King’s attorney, Dane Hamilton QC, argued that his case was on a point of law, in that perverting the course of justice and the Larceny Act of Antigua and Barbuda do not have extraterritorial effect.
Hamilton said however that he is not challenging the decision of the minister of external affairs, who has the final say as to whether King will be extradited. He said he wants the judge’s ruling to be stayed until an appeal is heard. King, he said, has very good grounds of appeal.
The DPP, is his reply, said the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Act CAP 103, section 31 subsection 2, subsection A does not allow for an appeal of decisions made in extradition proceedings.
Armstrong said that King’s redress - by way of judicial review proceedings - should be done after the minister of external affairs makes his decision, and that King’s application for a stay is therefore without jurisdiction.
“It is up to him (King) if he seeks so to do," the DPP said. "The Act makes provisions if and when he is committed by a magistrate, he can file for habeas corpus, which he did. He has exhausted his redress (at this stage). To grant the stay will create a new avenue of redress not contemplated nor made for by Parliament."
Armstrong told the court, “To go against this would be contrary to two previous decisions given in this court. He (King) has other remedies available to him."
Hamilton responded to the DPP’s arguments by saying, “They (Michel and former chief magistrate Ivan Walters) acted in excess of their jurisdiction. They had no jurisdiction to make that order (for King’s committal). The order of committal was made without jurisdiction.”
According to the defence attorney, there was no rule of law that limits King’s application to the court.
The court is expected to make a decision on the matter on Wednesday after being provided with the further authorities and pleadings in the matter.