Deon Bruce Extradition Case Continues in Supreme Court
A judicial review of a decision handed down by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith in the extradition case of Deon Bruce commenced inside the chamber of Justice Courtney Abel today. Bruce is wanted in Chicago for murder, attempt murder and firearm offences. On January seventeenth, the Chief Magistrate ruled that Bruce be handed over to U.S. authorities to face charges in the state of Illinois. But Bruce returned to court today with his new attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd. At the time of his arrest, Bruce was represented by attorney Michael Peyrefitte and on the day of his arraignment, by attorney Bryan Neal. Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith subsequently fought aggressively for the case to be heard in the local courts prior to his surrender and now Bruce has retained Matura-Shepherd. She argued in court two key points, including a habeas corpus application and a judicial review.
Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Attorney for Deon Bruce
“Well you know when you are brought before the magistrate court for an extradition matter once a decision is made, interestingly there is no appeal, you know but you can get a writ of habeas corpus saying that you are being wrongly held but that is a very difficult bar to cross ; however, there’s always the option in law generally, that you can seek judicial review of a decision of a magistrate and when you seek judicial review you are not reviewing the decision per se but how the magistrate arrived at that decision. And that is why we are taking all the technical points and all the legal points possible to show that there were errors in law, there were irregularities, there were procedural improprieties, there unreasonable things considered and irrelevant things and there were relevant information that should have been considered. It’s a bit novel because usually the way most extradition matters goes it’s just habeas corpus and then you just appeal that. We are saying let us do the habeas corpus but let us do the judicial review. There is authority in law in the United Kingdom and it would apply to where you can have both at the same time, so we are arguing both. But the reason we started with the judicial review is as you notice, my client for whatever reason has not been brought from prison and a habeas corpus matter cannot be heard without a prisoner before the court because habeas corpus means bring forth the body, so how would you have a hearing without the body being present. So we’re just at that stage, we have several arguments and then after that the attorney general’s ministry’s crown counsel will then be presenting their arguments against what we have said. So this matter will not be concluded today. Definitely, we can see it going into tomorrow as well.”
The case continues on Friday in the court of Justice Courtney Abel.