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Court Report: U.S. Extradition Case Headed To Appeal Court

U.S. Attorney threatens more charges after failing to extradite American citizen from the United Kingdom

Published on 24 January 2014

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by WireNews


Concord, NH

United States Court Of Appeal For The First Circuit United States District Court, District Of New Hampshire
United States Court Of Appeal For The First Circuit

A recent decision of Judge Steven McAuliffe (see below) is now headed to the United States Court of Appeal for the First Circuit in Boston after Judge McAuliffe granted two motions on behalf of a pro se Defendant.

As reported by the WireNews Agency in October 2013, a motion was filed seeking an order to dismiss an arrest warrant originally issued under seal by a New Hampshire grand jury sometime before April 2010. The motion was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, in Concord.

Alfred Rubega, for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Concord, New Hampshire, objected to the motion.

The facts of the case involve an American citizen who obtained a passport in 1997 using false information, renewed that passport in 2006 and again in 2007 and over a 13 year period until April 2010 actually travelled throughout the world without being detected by any U.S. or foreign authorities.

Despite claims by Rubega that U.S. authorities were aware of the crime, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) did not actually arrive upon the facts and act until a former business associate of the offending American contacted them after her blackmail efforts failed to produce the desired result.

UK authorities were eventually notified by the FBI and the American was arrested in April 2010 at his home in Wales. Quickly charged in the UK with a number of passport-related offenses, the American plead guilty and was sentenced in June 2010—serving 9 months in custody.

Fast forward nearly three years and the U.S. authorities tried to extradite the American to the United States hoping to prosecute him for having obtained and used the same U.S. passport, among other charges and they threatened him with up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

In February 2013 UK authorities arrested the American again—this time based on a U.S. warrant the UK court had authorised in December 2012—and they held him in London, in custody pending the anticipated extradition.

However, on 18 June 2013 at a hearing before Senior District Judge Riddle at Westminster Magistrates' Court in the City of London, DJ Riddle discharged the American ruling that the facts of the case represented double jeopardy and an abuse of process. He ordered the immediate release of the American.

For reasons only known to Rubega's office the U.S. authorities then decided against filing any appeal, which could have taken the matter all the way to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

In October 2013, the American sought to have the original arrest warrant cancelled or dismissed by the New Hampshire District Court on the grounds that the State and Federal courts are legally bound by a Senate-ratified extradition treaty between the United States of America and the United Kingdom, including the result of any competent court with jurisdiction from whom the U.S. District Attorney originally sought assistance.

On 9 December 2013 Judge McAuliffe denied the Defendant's motion and subsequently on 8 January 2014 Judge McAuliffe also denied the Defendant's motion to appoint counsel for an appeal of the original refusal of the court.

On 9 January 2014, now considerably out of time for his anticipated appeal of Judge McAuliffe's 9 December decision, the Defendant filed a motion to appeal late and Judge McAuliffe granted the Defendant's motion to appeal late. The Defendant also filed a notice of appeal for the court's refusal to appoint counsel.

Whether the U.S. Court of Appeal for the First Circuit deals with the motion to appoint counsel first so that the Defendant's appeal on the original decision can proceed aided by competent representation will be a matter for the court.

Case Number: 10-06-01-SM

In related news, on 11 December 2013 Alfred Rubega escalated matters when he made a thinly veiled threat to the defendant by email saying: "It is understood that you intend to remain in the UK in hopes of evading extradition.  "If you consult with counsel they will advise you that such a plan will only succeed if you are not charged with and extradited for other offenses."


Steven James McAuliffe is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire. He is the widower of Christa McAuliffe, one of the victims of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. He was appointed to the federal bench in 1992 by President George H. W. Bush. He became Chief Judge of the New Hampshire district in 2004 on the expiration of Paul J. Barbadoro's term as Chief Judge, serving in that capacity until 2011. He took senior status on April 1, 2013.


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Posted 2014-01-24 13:57:00