Fugitive challenges extradition treaty

David McDermott

David McDermott

Victor Kodjoga Adawudu, counsel for British fugitive David McDermott who is facing extradition charges, yesterday challenged the extradition treaty under which his client is to be sent to Britain, describing it as baseless.

The counsel for the accused made this submission when cross-examining the investigator of the case, Detective Sergeant Marcus Yawlui, at an Accra High Court.

However, the earlier case at the Circuit Court, where drug related charges were proffered against the fugitive was struck out after the State prosecutor, Deputy Superintendent of Police DSP, Abraham Annor withdrew the case.

According to Mr. Adawudu, the treaty was signed in 1932 at a time the country was a colony of Britain and known as Gold Coast.

The Counsel said the treaty by which his client had been held before the court for the extradition proceedings, had been repealed and no more in existence.

Mr. Adawuda added that the country was currently a sovereign state and no more a colony of Britain, rending the treaty ineffective.

The Counsel later told the court that his client, had requested to call a witness who lived in Takoradi in the Western Region to testify prior to the final addresses by both parties.

Mr. Adawudu raised questions about the whereabouts of the inventory taken on the day of the arrest of his client, alleging that the arresting authority took possession of his Toyota Tundra, laptop, camera among others.

He, therefore, prayed the court for an order to compel the investigator to make a copy of the inventory available to the court.

The court, presided over by Justice Merley Wood adjourned the case to Tuesday, April 5, for the witness to testify or both parties to address the court.

The court ordered the investigator to provide a copy of the inventory taken on the things they took from the accused on the day of his arrest.

McDermott was apprehended on March 11, at Tse Addo, residential area, behind the Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited and whisked to the BNI Headquarters for investigations.

He pleaded not guilty to a charge of ”dealing in prohibited business related to narcotics”, contrary to Section 3 (2) of the PNDCL 236, when he was arraigned before the Accra Circuit Court ”One”.

The court, presided over by Mr. AboagyeTandoh, however remanded him into BNI custody until March 30, for the security personnel to continue their investigations.

McDermott is said to have transacted prohibited business between 2013 and 2016 in Ghana and in the United Kingdom.

The prosecutor, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) A. A. Annor, told the court that the accused, a British, who has lived in Ghana for the past three years, was a wanted person in the United Kingdom on matters relating to narcotics.

 By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme

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