A ruling on whether a Magistrate has the authority to hear extradition proceedings for US murder suspect Troy Thomas was delayed as a result of an incomplete affidavit filed by his lawyers.
Thomas’ lawyers were asked to re-file an incomplete affidavit which contained arguments in support of a Fixed Date Application (FDA). This application seeks to block the Magistrates’ Courts from hearing the extradition proceedings.
The ruling was scheduled to be handed down today (May 25, 2018) by High Court Judge Jo Ann Barlow.
The affidavit filed by Attorneys-at-Law Nigel Hughes, Bernard DaSilva and Darren Wade on behalf of Thomas, was missing a key component, its commencement—this is the beginning of the document where the affiant or the person making the affidavit is identified.
The lawyers were ordered to re-file the affidavit on or before June 1.
The FDA then comes up again on June 4, for further addresses from Thomas’s lawyers and Solicitor General Kim Kyte on arguments not included in their affidavits. Thereafter, another date will be set for ruling.
Thomas who was captured at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown on March 14, 2018, is wanted by US law enforcement in relation to the December 11, 2011 murder of 20-year-old Keith Frank which occurred in Richmond Hill, New York.
Since 2012, US police had issued a wanted bulletin for the murder suspect.
Frank, a father of one, who moved from Guyana to the US when he was 12 was shot and killed outside a Richmond Hill, New York party where he had ran into some other men with whom he had an ongoing “beef.”
It was reported that Thomas fled to the Canada hours after allegedly committing the crime.
Days after he was captured in Guyana, Thomas was hauled before Principal Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs- Marcus, who was at the time acting as Chief Magistrate, before whom he was expected to face extradition proceedings.
However, a week after lawyers for the murder suspect moved to the High Court in a bid to have the Magistrate barred from hearing the extradition proceedings.
The Magistrate has since put a hold on the extradition proceedings pending the hearing and determination of the High Court matter. In the meantime, Thomas is a remand prisoner.
Among other things, the lawyers have argued that the Magistrates’ Courts does not have the jurisdiction to hear the extradition proceedings. The lawyers have further argued that Thomas is a citizen of Guyana and is entitled to the protections of the provisions of the Constitution of Guyana.
Referencing certain sections of the Fugitive Offenders Act of 1988, the lawyers are contending that only the Minister of Public Security is vested the power to issue an authority to proceed with the extradition hearing to the Chief Magistrate.
In the FDA, the lawyers outlined a total of 27 grounds in support of their request, one of them stating that Thomas is being unlawfully detained and subject to the legal process unsupported by any legal basis or foundation.