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Unlawful arrest!

Gollop Argues extradition hearing unlawful

COURT TODAY BLOCKJason Forde was unlawfully arrested. That being the case, he is “not lawfully before this court.”

Forde’s attorney, Hal Gollop Q.C, argued this point yesterday among submissions when an extradition hearing against the former male nurse continued before Magistrate Graveney Bannister.

Bannister, presiding in the District ‘A’ Traffic Court, will determine whether Forde will be extradited to the United Kingdom to stand trial for eight sexual offences.

Forde, of #2 Constance Drive, Seaview, Chancery Lane, Christ Church, is accused of engaging in sexual conduct with a person with a mental disorder by a caregiver, sometime on or before May 10, 2004.

The alleged offences took place at a psychiatric hospital in Westminster, England, where Forde was employed as a nurse.

Gollop made his submissions after the court heard evidence from the Crown’s witnesses last week.

The attorney said that Assistant Superintendent Anthony Jackman admitted that the local warrant had “derived its authority and validity” from a warrant issued by the United Kingdom.

Since that was so, it meant “that (Forde’s) arrest was unlawful…He (Jackman) did not commit himself to that but that is a point of law,” Gollop stressed.

He insisted that without the accompanying United Kingdom warrant, the local one had no legal validity and Forde was arrested “without being given the full particulars of the charge.”

Gollop added that there can be no lawful conclusion “after an unlawful act” and “the case should fall right there.”

Calling the British warrant “an affront to Barbados,” the senior attorney also referred to markings, changes and crossings which the document carried but had not been initialled.

Gollop felt that was reflective of the way larger states felt about developing states which, he said, sometimes deviated from their own standards in order to accommodate the larger states.

It was at this point that Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Donna Babb-Agard Q.C., interjected and expressed concern about the direction in which Gollop was going.

She felt that since the warrant had already been made an exhibit of the court, the attorney should have objected to it at an earlier stage and his critiquing it at that point was futile.

Magistrate Bannister referred to his notes and said he saw no objection from Gollop at the time. The attorney insisted that he had objected to all the documents which the Crown had produced.

Returning to his substantive argument, Gollop submitted that Forde’s right to a fair trial under the Barbados Constitution had been breached.

Additionally, Gollop reiterated his previous contention from the last occasion, and again stressed that according to the Extradition Act, unless ‘double criminality’ exists, a person cannot be extradited.

He argued that the crimes with which his client had been charged, had to be crimes both in the requesting state (the United Kingdom) as well as the requested state (Barbados).

“…there can’t be a punishment without a law,” Gollop commented. Although agreeing that a country can extradite someone which it believes is “worthy of punishment,” the only way Barbados can know who is deserving of punishment would be by looking at “what is set down in its laws.”

The attorney again pointed out that there are no laws in Barbados which make consensual sex a crime.

Principal Crown Counsel Elwood Watts also appeared on behalf of the Crown. That side is expected to respond when the matter continues on October 9.

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