Beautiful Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023

Erickson would not receive fair trial in USA, lawyers argued

Erickson would not receive fair trial in USA, lawyers argued

Defence lawyers in the appeal against Nyron ‘Batt’ Erickson’s extradition from the BVI to the United States wanted the court to consider that he would not receive a fair trial once extradited, court documents show.
Erickson, who was represented by Queens Counsel Edward Fitzgerald along with attorneys Hugh Wildman and Valerie Gordon, was fighting extradition to the US after being indicted on charges of conspiracy to launder monetary funds from outside the USA and unlawfully transporting those funds into the USA.

The defendant and his other co-accused were further charged with two counts of concealed bulk cash smuggling in amounts over $10,000 into the USA.

Attorneys further argued that his extradition would not be in the interests of justice, would constitute a disproportionate interference with the rights and interests of his family and that it was an abuse of process.

Erickson’s attorneys relied upon the evidence of two experienced US defence attorneys to support his claim that he would experience a “flagrant denial of justice” and a breach of his right to a fair trial if extradited.

There was also an argument that a case was not made out in the extradition material for Erickson’s extradition.

But prosecutors contended that the particulars of the offences supplied in the request for extradition were sufficient and adequate for the purposes of the legislation.

Prosecutors further contended that there was nothing unlawful or oppressive in the American plea-bargaining system and argued that the senior magistrate correctly rejected previously, the argument that Erickson would be punished for exercising his right to trial.

Meanwhile, Justice Richard Floyd in his ruling sided with prosecutors in noting that the court recognizes and supports the presumption that Erickson will receive a fair trial in the US.

Justice Floyd ruled that, although Erickson has the right to liberty and security, a section of the constitution allows for the deprivation of that right for effecting the expulsion, extradition or other lawful removals of persons from the BVI.

In the end, judge Floyd found that it would not be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process for the extradition of Erickson to proceed. He, therefore, dismissed his appeal before the court.

The Crown was represented by Queens Counsel John Black and Principal Crown Counsel Fiona Forbes-Vanterpool.

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