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EXTRADITION AND CRIMINAL MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE

Tuesday, April 09, 2019 @ 9:54 AM  


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Appeal by Chandler from committal for extradition to the United States and application for judicial review of the minister’s surrender order. The United States sought the extradition of the appellant to face charges of fraud arising from a condominium construction project. The United States alleged the appellant made fraudulent misrepresentations to individuals who either loaned money to invest in the project or provided security for loans by others. The United States further alleged that the appellant misused the proceeds for personal expenses by using fake cheques and forged signatures. The appellant denied any fraudulent activity. He took the position that the project was a legitimate property deal and that the alleged victims were informed investors who knew the risks. Following refusal of additional disclosure and a request by the appellant to reopen disclosure, the appellant was committed for extradition. Six months later, the minister ordered the appellant’s surrender. Chandler appealed the committal order and sought judicial review of the surrender order.

HELD: Appeal and application dismissed. The extradition judge did not misdirect herself as to the correct legal approach to the evidence. The case did not need to be recertified by the requesting state after the withdrawal of one relatively minor piece of evidence in the record of the case. This was not an instance in which the record of the case (ROC) was misleading or revealed a lack of due diligence. The order of committal was amply supported by the requesting state’s evidence. No error in principle arose from the decision refusing further disclosure. To the degree the appellant raised alternate innocent inferences available on the evidence, it did not undermine the reliability of the totality of the requesting state’s evidence in favour of committal. The committal judge did not err in concluding the ROC was sufficient to establish a prima facie case of fraud. The appellant’s contention that the surrender would be unjust and oppressive due to a domestic criminal investigation and his newly obtained custody of his daughter was without merit. The minister’s reasons showed that the appellant’s position was carefully considered. The minister’s rejection of that position was not unreasonable.

United States of America v. Chandler, [2019] B.C.J. No. 400, British Columbia Court of Appeal, R.J. Bauman C.J.B.C., D.F. Tysoe and S.A. Griffin JJ.A., March 18, 2019. Digest No. TLD-April82019003