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Judgement on Extradition 7th Nov 2011

Judgement on Extradition 7th Nov 2011

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THE
REPUBLIC
OF
TRINIDAD
ANDTOBAGO
IN
THE
HIGH
COURT
OF
JUSTICE
cv
2010
-
04144
BETWEEI\
STEVE
FERGUSON
ISHWARGALBARANSINGHAND
THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL
OF
TRINIDAD
AIYD
TOBAGO
ClaimantsDefendant
Before
TheHonourable
Mr
JusticeRonnieBoodoosingh
APPEARANCES:
Mr
Edward
FitzgeraldQCand
Mr
Fyard
Hosein
SC
leading
Mr
Rishi
Dass,
Ms
Sasha
Bridgemohan,
and
Ms AnnetteMamchan;instructed
by
Ms
Nyree
Alfonso
for
the
first
Claimant
Mr
AndrewMitchell
QC
leading
Mr
Rajiv
Persad;
instructedby
MsNyree
Alfonso
for
the
second
Claimant
Mr
Avory
Sinanan
SC
leading
Mr
Kelvin
Ramkissoon,
Ms Sunita
Harrikissoon
and
Ms
Deowattee
Dilraj-Battoosingh;
instructedbyMs
Janelle
John
for
the
DefendantDelivered:
7
November
20lL
Page1
of
57
 
JUDGMENT
l.
Steve
Fergusonand
Ishwar
Galbaransingh
arc
citizens
ofTrinidad
and Tobago.
They
are
businessmen.
Mr
Ferguson
is
a
principal
of
Maritime
GeneralInsurance
Company
Limited
and
related
companies.
Mr
Galbaransingh
is
the
principal
of
NorthernConstruction
Limited. In
the
1990s,
thegovernment
of
Trinidad
andTobago
began
tobuild
a
new airport terminalbuilding
and
do
related
works.Theairportterminal
was
eventually
completed
ancl
kept
the
samenarne
as
theprevious
airport
calledthePiarcoInternational
Airport.
The construction
of
the
new
airport
cameabout
with
much
controversy
andmany
allegations
of
improperconduct,
notablycorruption,
involving
several persons
including
contractors
and
government
officials.
2.
Both
these
men(the
claimants)
and
their
companies,
benefitted
fromthe
award
of
contractsrelated
to
the
construction
and
outfittingof
that
new
airport.
From2}Az,the
claimants
and
their
companies,
along
with
other
persons,
mainly
citizens
of
Trinidad
andTobago,
werecharged
with
crimes
related
tothe
award
of
contracts
in
the
construction
of
the
airport.
Among
the
personscharged
were
businesscolleagues, government
officials
and
persons
who
were
CabinetMinisters
at
the
time.
Colloquially,
the
eventsare referred
to
as
the Piarco
Airport
comrption
scandal.
3.
Proceedings
intheMagistrates'Court
began
by the laying
of
charges
on22March20A2.
On
9
July
2007
,
theclaimantswere
discharged
by
the
Chief
Magistrateon the
original
charges,
but
theywere
committed
on
additional
and
substitutedcharges
on
7
January
2008.
These
proceedingshave
colloquially
been
called
Piarco
1.
An
indictment
has
not
yet
been
filed.
4.
ln
2004,
new
charges
were
laid
against
the
claimantsand
their
companies
alongwithother
persons.These
proceedings
also
began
in
the
Magistrates'
Court
andare referred
to
as
Piarco
2.
The
United
States
government,
through
the Department
of
Justice,
began
investigations
andlater
chargedpersons
includingthe
claimantsandother
persons,some
of
whorn
were
citizens
of
the
United
States.
In
2006,
the
United
States
made
an extradition
request
for
the
claimants.Those
proceedings
havebeenongoing
with
several
stages
under
the
extradition
Page2
of
57
 
legislation
having
been
completed.
The
claimants,
as
was
their
right,
challenged
these
proceedingsalongthe way.
5.
They
have
asserted
throughout
that
they
do
not wishto
be
extradited
to
the
United
States,
but theywish
to
be
tried
in
Trinidad
andTobagowhere theyhave
beenprosecuted
for
many
years
and
where
they
have invested
significant
personal
andfinancial
resources
to
defendthemselves.Theproceedingshave
reached
the
final
stage
when the
Attorney
General,
in
exercise
of
thepowers
given
by
section 16
of
the
Extradition
Act
Chap.
12:04,
hasdecided
to
order
their
return
to
the
United
States.
6.
Theclaimants
have
applied for
judicial
review
of
this
decision
of
the
Attorney
General.
They
have
challenged
the
order
on
three
bases
for
whichthe
Court
of
Appeal
has
given
permission.
It
ison
these
three
challenges
that
I
amcalled
to
decide.Thesechallengescan
be
briefly
labelled
as
follows:
The ForumDecrsronTheRepresentations
Argument
TheBias
Argument
7
,
Both
claimants
filed
affidavits
in
support
of
the
application.
The
Attorney
General
responded
through
two
affidavits
of
Ms
SunitaHanikissoon,
who
is
a
legal
officer
in
the
Attorney
General's
office
attached
to
theCentral
Authority,
and
who
has
been
involved
with
this
extradition
request
from
the
beginning.
There wasalso an
affidavit
ofMs
Elaine
Greene,
an
attorney-at-lawinvolved in
prosecutingthe
criminal
matters.Written
submissionswere
filed
and
exchanged
on
behalf
of
each
of
the
claimants
and
on
behalf
of
theAttorney
General.Oral
hearingswerethen
held
andthepartiessupplemented
theiroral
submissions
with
furtherwritten
submissions.
Although the
claimants
filed
separatesubmissions
andhave
beenrepresented
by
different
counsel,
they
have
deployed
their
cases
together
and have
relied
on
eachother's
evidence.
I
will,
therefore,
consider
their
claims
together
although
I
am
mindful of
the
need to
arrive
at
a
decision
in
each
case.
I
should add
that
no
issue hasbeen
raised
thatthey
are
indifferent
positions.
They
are
both
in
the
same
boat
as
far
as
this
issue
is
concerned.
One
Page3
of
57

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