By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A JUDGE requested a week’s time to determine whether she has the jurisdiction to hear the bail application of an alleged drug lord fighting extradition to the United States.
Justice Vera Watkins raised the issue of jurisdiction when Melvin Maycock Sr’s lawyer, Murrio Ducille, confirmed to the court that Maycock’s dismissed application for bail before Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs had not been contested at the Court of Appeal.
Maycock Sr, the alleged head of the Caribbean arm of a multi-national drug trafficking network, was denied bail by Senior Justice Isaacs in March of this year.
He had applied for bail pending the outcome of his appeal of an approved extradition request that had been upheld by former Supreme Court judge, Senior Justice Jon Isaacs.
Mr Ducille, in yesterday’s proceedings, argued that the other persons being sought by the US government on drug charges had been granted bail, notwithstanding the approval of the extradition requests.
The veteran lawyer added that Maycock Sr, who has yet to receive all of the transcripts to aid his appeal, should not be discriminated against and deprived of his liberty when his co-accused are walking free pending the conclusion of the matter.
Justice Watkins, however, questioned whether she could entertain the bail application for a matter that had not been contested and within a short period of time since the previous application was dismissed.
Crown respondent Ambrose Armbrister objected to the application being heard, arguing that the appropriate forum for the matter, at this stage, was the appellate court.
Mr Armbrister also submitted that there had been no material changes in Maycock’s circumstances since his previous application.
The prosecutor also noted that the appeal relative to the extradition proceedings have been set for September.
Justice Watkins said she will consider the submissions of counsel and return with a ruling on Tuesday, August 18, to state whether she has the jurisdiction to hear the bail application.
Maycock Sr was remanded to the Department of Correctional Services in the interim.
In May 2013, then Deputy Chief Magistrate Carolita Bethell ruled that there was sufficient evidence for Maycock Sr and 13 other men to answer allegations of their involvement in a multi-national drug smuggling organisation, as alleged by the US government in 2004 when the request was made.
However, Maycock Sr, his son, Melvin Maycock Jr, Trevor Roberts, Gordon Newbold, Sheldon Moore, Devroy Moss, Shanto Curry, Lynden Deal, Brenden Deal, Torry Lockhart, Larran Lockhart, Wilfred Ferguson, Derek Rigby and Carl Culmer had appealed the magistrate’s ruling with a habeas corpus application to the Supreme Court.
An appeal to the Privy Council on the legality of the Listening Devices Act was lodged by Newbold, Curry, Moore, Roberts, Moss and Maycock Sr and was heard on February 12 and 13 last year.
Two months later, the Privy Council ruled that the Listening Devices Act, the governing legislation for wire taps, was constitutional. Last September, then-Senior Justice Jon Isaacs approved the extradition request for Maycock Sr, Roberts, Moss, Curry, the Deal brothers, Torry Lockhart, Ferguson, Rigby, Culmer, Moore and Newbold. He quashed an extradition order for Maycock’s son and Larran Lockhart.
Maycock Sr’s appeal hearing is scheduled to be heard on September 30. The other 11 appellants may also be heard on that date.