Top extradition lawyers argue against the extradition of alleged Jamaican sex offender
Extradition of Jamaican man approved
A Jamaican man, George Flowers, will be extradited to Canada ruled the Jamaican Court of Appeal this week. Flowers is wanted over a number of sex charges and has just lost a long battle over his extradition. Flowers extradition seems set in stone but his legal team are looking into any other avenues that could potentially stop the extradition.
According to Flowers’ top extradition lawyer he is wanted by the Canadian Government on 12 counts of aggravated sexual assault. On Wednesday 16th November 2016, the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal and the office of the director of Public Prosecutions stated that he will be extradited to Canada and face trial for sexual assault.
The aggravated sexual assault that Flowers is accused of involves the engagement of unprotected sexual intercourse. Flowers supposedly had intercourse with four separate women, unprotected, whilst knowingly HIV positive and without informing the individuals of his status so they could make informed an informed decision about whether or not, to engage in sexual intercourse.
Of the four women bringing claims against Flowers, three had contracted HIV after the unprotected sexual intercourse. All four complainants provided affidavits to the court which held that, they would not have had sexual intercourse with Flowers had they known he was HIV positive. The women are thus stating that the deception by Flowers negated their consent to intercourse. Top extradition lawyers mentioned the case of Julian Assange. In this case Assange had sex with a number of women whilst not using contraception. The women had only agreed to intercourse on the condition that contraception would be used. Sweden are still waiting for Assange to be extradited, he is currently still living inside Ecuador’s embassy in London.
Flowers fled Canada after his alleged offences came to light. The State prosecutor stated that the Canadian Government had placed a formal appeal for Flowers extradition on the 21st March 2013. Mark Golding, the then Minister of Justice, issued an authority to proceed with extradition on the 3rd June 2013, in respect of three counts. The Canadian Government submitted a supplemental extradition request. The Supplemental request was for a single count of aggravated sexual assault. The Minister for justice issued authority to proceed with the arrest on the 9th September 2013, the warrant for Flowers’ arrest was issued almost immediately after this.
It was reported in 2012 that Flowers knew of his HIV status since 1996, he supposedly knew that he had HIV and if he had unprotected sexual intercourse with another he could pass it on. The report also went on to say that Flowers worked in the entertainment business and he met the women in bars.
According to the Canadian Criminal Code, anyone who is HIV-positive must inform their sexual partners of the fact. If they are not informed, even if HIV is not contracted by the individual, charges can still be brought forward. Top extradition lawyers have likened the case of Flowers to the English case of R v Dica  although in this case there was no extradition in question, there was discussion as to whether this was rape. In Dica the defendant did not disclose his HIV status and a number of his sexual partners contracted HIV. The court in this case held that the fundamental nature of the act was not changed and thus there was not deception as to the act they were consenting to. Although this was not considered to be rape under English law it was considered to be Grievous bodily harm. The laws in England and Canada have remained similar. Although the title of rape has been removed from Canadian law, the concept of sexual assault is the same in both, and top extradition lawyers have queried whether the charges against Flowers are correct.
Aggravated Sexual assault according to Section 273 (1) of the Canadian Criminal Code, is when an individual commits a sexual assault and at the same time either wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the complainant. Aggravated Sexual assault is an indictable offence. If it is your first offence, then there is maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, if it is your second or a subsequent offence then there is a maximum of 7 years in prison. However, if the is a firearm involved in the assault, or if the complainant is under 16 years of age, then the maximum penalty is life in prison.
The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions stated that Flowers arrest and committal proceedings were conducted in front of the St Andrew Resident Magistrate. On the 22nd August 2015, the magistrate ordered that Flowers be extradited to Canada. Flowers had challenged the order of committal and appealed for his release. Flowers did so by way of an application of habeas corpus. The application was heard by the Supreme Court on the 11th and 12th of January 2016.
On the 30th June 2016 the Jamaican court dismissed the application made by Flower’s top extradition lawyer for habeas corpus, they instead ordered Flowers be extradited Canada. Unhappy with this position, on the 22nd July 2016, Flowers filed a notice of appeal. Unfortunately for Flowers, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions filed an application to strike out the notice of appeal. The application by the office of the director of Public Prosecutions was supported by the Attorney General’s Chambers and on the 16th November 2016 the Court of Appeal struck out Flowers’ notice of appeal.
Flowers’ extradition is expected to move along swiftly now that the Court of Appeal have rejected Flowers’ notice of appeal. Flowers’ top extradition lawyers are not happy with this result and are still seeking a means of stopping the extradition, time is however running out.