Lawyers for Choksi say Extradition Act gives minister too much discretion

David Dorsette

Lawyers for Antiguan CIP Citizen, Mehul Choksi are challenging a section of Antigua & Barbuda’s Extradition Act 1993.

Dr. David Dorsett said a motion was filed in the court last Friday.

He said having reviewed the act, the legal team believes section 9 (4) “gives the Minister of Foreign Affairs virtually unlimited discretion to issue an authority to proceed”.

“He has absolutely no obligation to be informed by our side as to what the true situation is”, the lawyer argued.

Dr. Dorsett contended this presents an opportunity for the Minister to act in an arbitrary manner, which he said would impede on his client’s constitutional rights.

“Not saying that he will but there is that very real prospect and it is something that we want to avoid as much as possible”, he said.

The matter is scheduled for hearing on November 14.

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    Guess there are as many tricks in trade, as there are tactics for the abuse
    of process, delays, manipulating and/or frustrating the judicial system.

    The ‘…Pastor Jippy Doyle story is a classic example of these exploits [Barbados].

    Since the suspected fugitive appeared to have resources to utilize,
    let him utilize them. Give no one an opportunity to hoodwink you.

    It is clearly not about ‘…Ministerial Discretion,’ but a legal requirement
    for the judicial process to commence before the assigned Magistrate.

    It is not a trial to determine ‘…innocence or guilt.’ Thus, witnesses will not
    be called to testify against the fugitive.

    The proceedings are simply to determine, through submission of legal
    arguments if that which he was accused by Indian authorities, constitutes
    an Extradition offence in Antigua and Barbuda.

    The Minister has absolutely nothing to do with what might be ‘…argued,
    whether against or for the fugitive.

    Hence, he exercises no discretion in the actual proceedings.

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