Attorney General, Anand Ramlogan, yesterday wrote to attorney Nyree Alfonso informing her that he had given her two clients the grace period, before he makes his decision on the extradition request from the US.
Under Section 16 of the Extradition Act, the final decision on the extradition rests on the AG who has the discretion to refuse the extradition request, if he thought it was “unjust and oppressive.”
The letter came just days after the Judicial Committee of the London Privy Council, comprising Lords Browne, Manace and Collins, refused an application by the businessmen to stay the extradition proceedings against them, and also permission to appeal the decision of the local Court of Appeal to extradite them.
Queen’s Counsel James Lewis, and Douglas Mendes SC, prepared submissions for the State.
Contacted yesterday, Ferguson said they still had recourse to the Privy Council if they were not satisfied with the decision of the AG.
“Based on his (the AG’s) decision, if it is not in our favour we can judicially review that all the way to the Privy Council,” Ferguson said.
He said he was confident of their success in petitioning to the AG in the matter of “forum”, which has been enunciated in the Canadian case of “Cotroni”.
“I feel fairly confident that there will be a more fair assessment based on the Cotroni principle,” Ferguson said.
Under the Cotroni principle, Ferguson and Galbaransingh will argue that they would not get a fair trial in Florida as nationals of TT.
Ferguson criticised “as erroneous and misleading”, the headline in one daily newspaper which stated that they were to be extradited.
“That is the furthest from the truth,” he said.
And while he was happy for the seven-day period given by Ramlogan, he recalled the position taken by former AG John Jeremie, who stated his intention to hold off the extradition proceedings for only 24 hours.
“That is how oppressive that man was,” Ferguson said.
Justice of Appeal Rajendra Narine, in his dissenting judgment on May 3, 2010, was critical of the treatment meted out to the businessmen by then AG Jeremie.
On that day the Court of Appeal by a majority of 2-1 dismissed the challenge to the extradition brought by Ferguson and Galbaransingh.