Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Marc Emery, Delays Extradition

British Columbia
Marc Emery's Lawyer Cites Possible U.S. Deal

The extradition hearing for marijuana activist Marc Emery, which was scheduled to begin next week, has been adjourned.

Emery's lawyer, Ian Donaldson, told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Anne Mackenzie that he needed more time to finalize an agreement with U.S. prosecutors that would end the need for the hearing.

Donaldson noted that two of Emery's co-accused have pleaded guilty to their part in a scheme in which marijuana seeds were sold for use in grow-ops south of the border.

He said that since the pleas by Michelle Rainey and Gregory Williams were entered in

Seattle last month, he has been in discussions with the U.S. prosecuting counsel.

"He and I have a general framework capable of resolving the case for Mr. Emery," said Donaldson.

He said that, under the agreement, Emery would consent to be committed for extradition on one of the three criminal counts he faces. He noted that the Canadian authorities are opposed to such a move.

He asked for an adjournment of two to three weeks so he could further discuss the matter with a U.S. defence lawyer who would handle the case in Seattle.

Kerry Swift, a lawyer for the federal justice department, told the judge that her superiors in Ottawa were opposed to the adjournment.

She noted that the case had already been delayed a number of times and previous negotiations to resolve the matter had gone off the rails.

But the judge said she accepted that Donaldson had made efforts to resolve the case and agreed to put off the matter for several weeks. The next court appearance is June 3 to address the availability of a Crown witness, an undercover officer, who is to testify if the hearing goes ahead. Emery was arrested on the drug charges in 2005.

NORML.ORG CN BC: Extradition Hearing Delayed In Medical Marijuana Case

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