Lawyer: Clients whisked out of country illegally
Front Page
June 18, 2010
Lawyer: Clients whisked out of country illegally

On whose authority were Dexter Chance, Gareth McDowall and Carlos Sutherland removed from their cells at Biabou Police Station?

That’s the question that lawyer for the men, Kay Bacchus-Browne, is asking.

On June 16, 2010, at about 12:30 pm, the three men, who have applied to the Privy Council to appeal an extradition matter, were whisked away by a chartered plane to Tortola without the knowledge of their counsel.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT, Bacchus Browne said: “I don’t know what the reason is for this and I consider it a breach of the rule of law …. I consider what was done very unconstitutional and unlawful.”

The trio is wanted in Tortola on a charge of importing 61.21 kilograms of cocaine into that territory.

On Monday May 31, 2010, the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal refused a Habeus Corpus application in possibly the biggest extradition case in this country’s history. Habeaus Corpus seeks to determine whether the men were detained legally.

Bacchus-Browne said her clients were whisked out of the country illegally even though the notice of application for appeal against the men’s extradition was pending.

“They are saying we should have applied for a stay of execution. Categorically, that is not the position because this is a special procedure and we are going under the Habeus Corpus,” Bacchus-Browne noted.

Bacchus-Browne stated under the Fugitive Offenders Act, once a matter is before the Court of Appeal, the men should not have been sent off.

“This matter was filed in the Court of Appeal and served on the Director of Public Prosecutions, so I can’t see why they were removed,” she noted.

After losing their extradition appeal, Bacchus Browne gave notice of their intentions to appeal to the Privy Council.

Bacchus-Browne explained that she received a telephone call around midday Wednesday stating that the men were being taken away. By the time she arrived at the E.T. Joshua airport, the men had already boarded a chartered plane and were bound for Tortola.

Upon checking the authorities at the Biabou Police Station where the men had been detained, Bacchus-Browne discovered the men were still listed as prisoners.

“I consider this a breach of the rule of law and the protection of liberty of a subject,” Bacchus-Browne said.
Declining to divulge their next steps, Bacchus-Browne said she would be looking into ways of dealing with the matter.

“I think its a very sad day in St Vincent when a state can disregard the rights and liberties of a citizen in this day and age. Let the law run its course,” Bacchus-Browne asserted.

When contacted, Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams said he does not have to interpret the law for Bacchus-Browne and that he has done extradition matters before.(KW)