Extradition approved

Court rules against J’can man wanted in Canada on sex charges

Thursday, November 17, 2016

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A Jamaican man who is wanted by the Canadian Government for sex crimes lost his long battle to defeat an extradition warrant on Wednesday when the Court of Appeal struck out his notice of appeal.


The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) yesterday said that George Flowers will now be extradited to Canada where he is wanted on 12 counts of aggravated sexual assault.


A news release from the ODPP said that Flowers has been accused of engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse with four women knowing that he was HIV-positive and without informing them of his HIV-positive status.


"Three of the four complainants subsequently contracted HIV, and all complainants swore in affidavits that they would not have had sexual intercourse with him had they known he was HIV-positive," the ODPP said.


According to the State prosecutor, on March 21, 2013, the Government of Canada asked the Jamaican Government to extradite Flowers, who had fled to Jamaica.


"The then Minister of Justice Mark Golding, on June 3, 2013, issued the authority to proceed in respect of three counts. The Government of Canada subsequently submitted a supplemental extradition request for a single count of aggravated sexual assault against George Flowers, to which the minister issued authority to proceed on September 9, 2013," the ODPP said, adding that an extradition warrant was then issued for Flowers’ arrest.


An October 2012 story on the Globe and Mail website reported Toronto police as saying that Flowers worked in Toronto in the entertainment business and met the women in bars and other venues.


"It’s alleged he has known since 1996 that he carries the HIV virus, which causes AIDS, but did not disclose his status," the Globe and Mail report said.


"The Criminal Code specifies that anyone who is HIV-positive must apprise their sexual partners, and charges can be laid regardless of whether the infection is transmitted," the newspaper added.


In its release yesterday, the ODPP said Flowers was arrested and committal proceedings were conducted before St Andrew Resident Magistrate Simone Wolfe-Reece, who on August 22, 2015 ordered that Flowers be committed to custody pending his extradition to Canada.


But Flowers, the ODPP said, challenged the order of committal by applying for his release by way of a habeas corpus application, which was heard by the Full Court of the Supreme Court on January 11 and 12, 2016.


"On June 30, 2016 the Full Court dismissed his application for habeas corpus and ordered that he be extradited to Canada," the ODPP said.


However, on July 22, 2016 Flowers filed a notice of appeal. But the ODPP filed an application to strike out the notice of appeal and was supported by the Attorney General’s Chambers.


"On November 16, 2016 the Court of Appeal upheld the DPP’s application and struck out George Flowers’ notice of appeal, paving the way for him to be extradited to Canada," the ODPP said.


Flowers was represented by attorney Don Foote, the Government of Canada was represented by the ODPP through Jeremy Taylor, senior deputy director of public prosecutions; and the Government of Jamaica was represented by the Attorney General’s Chambers.

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