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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

clear as mud.

This one really slipped by me, and obviously the newspapers, too....

The "background" section of this ruling has a decent history of the confusing path of Michael Ritter's extradition proceedings.

In short, in October 2003, Ritter was arrested under a "provisional arrest warrant" which is a procedure allowable under the Extradition Act. In granting bail, the Court of Queen's Bench Justice Lewis allowed Ritter to go on the basis of recognizance.

You will then recall that sometime last year Ritter allegedly applied for a Belizean passport, in contravention of a court order ordering him to surrender all of his passports and not to apply for any others. In February 2006, Ritter along with his lawyer were charged in connection with this passport application; Ritter was specifically charged with "breach of recognizance."

In the extradition case, Ritter then asked Justice Joanne Veit to declare that the recognizance he originally gave in October 2003 to be voided because of the January 2004 "Authority to Proceed" with extradition issued by the Minister of Justice.

An interpretation of this could be that Ritter wanted this declaration in order to say that since the recognizance he gave was null and void, he did not "breach" recognizance - thus beating the February 2006 charges.

In this ruling, Justice Veit cuts through the procedural mumbo-jumbo to basically say that Ritter's word he gave in October 2003 to the Court of Queen's Bench would hold. The effect is to allow the February 2006 charges to continue against him.

Clear as mud?

(See the entire Michael Ritter Scandal Chronology...)

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