Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
The attorney for Jamaican entertainer Busy Signal has warned that US authorities cannot resurrect drug-related charges against his client after he is extradited.
Attorney at law K D Knight, speaking after the entertainer today waived his right to an extradition hearing, said this would constitute a breach of the Extradition Treaty between Jamaica and the US.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Jeremy Palmer revealed in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrateís Court today that Busy Signal was scheduled to go on trial for conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine in the US State of Minnesota on October 10, 2002 when he absconded bail.
The entertainer, whose real name is Glendale Goshia Gordon, was arrested at the Norman Manley International Airport after he got off a flight from the UK.
But seeking to explain his client's move, Knight said US authorities indicated, in the documents that supported the provisional warrant used to arrest him on Monday that he was wanted only for absconding bail.
"He has consented to face absconding and absconding only... not any drug-related charge," Knight insisted.
"In this scenario he has received exactly that which he would have wanted had their been a fight... that he be not surrendered in relation to the drug charge," he added.
The attorney, who is also a former Jamaican foreign minister, said any move to re-instate the conspiracy charges would be a breach the Extradition Treaty between the two countries that would trigger a "diplomatic furore."
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), when contacted, backed up Knight's assertion, saying Gordon should only be tried for "failure to appear for trial" as is outlined in the extradition documents.
According to the DPP's office, this falls under what is commonly referred to as the Rule of Speciality which states that "the subject of an extradition can only be tried for the offence for which he was extradited."
"If it is that the US would want to try him for any other offence they would have to expressly seek the leave of the Jamaican Government to do that," an official at the DPP's office explained.
"Otherwise they would contravene the Rule of Speciality and the Law of Sovereignty between nations," the official added.
Busy Signal's surprise move to waive his right to an extradition hearing came shortly after Resident Magistrate Stephane Jackson Haisley denied his bail application in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrateís Court.
Hours after the hearing the entertainer reportedly signed a waiver consent form, paving the way for a judge to issue the warrant authorising the extradition.
Late this afternoon, Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn revealed that her office was putting together all the documentation relating to the case to send to Justice Minister Mark Golding who is required to sign the warrant of surrender for Busy Signal.