Las víctimas olvidadas de Stanford ahora disponible en español

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

PM: King extradition a work in progress

ST JOHN'S, Antigua - Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, who also holds the External Affairs portfolio, is awaiting a response from Leroy King to determine how he will proceed with an extradition request from the United States government.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission charged King, former head of the Financial Services and Regulatory Commission (FSRC), with 21 counts relating to wire, mail and securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The charges relate to an alleged $7 billion Ponzi scheme said to have been masterminded by R Allen Stanford.

High Court judge Mario Michel, last week, upheld a 2009 committal order for King to be extradited.

The ruling placed the matter in Spencer's hands, under his external affairs mandate.

Spencer said he has followed the steps in the Extradition Act by writing to King.

OBSERVER understands this was done last Friday. The law gives King 15 days to respond.

"There are some preliminary steps that have to be taken in that regard. The individual has to be written to, informing him that the courts have ruled in a particular way and that he should be given some time to respond to that.

"He may have reasons that he wishes to advance as to why he probably should not be extradited. According to the law that process has to take place.

"I have done the initial thing - that is to write to him indicating certain things and to request of him to respond. It's at that point I will have the opportunity to make the final determination," Spencer said.

The prime minister declined to comment on the Stanford trial, which began on January 24 and which has already heard testimony from witnesses, at home and abroad, about how the Texan exerted influence on those who should have been the gatekeepers.

Spencer was cautious, saying that he, like the rest of the world, is waiting to "see how things unfold."

"I am not in a position to make any judgment or assessment of the situation," he said.

Stanford, once the largest private sector employee in Antigua, was charged with 21 federal criminal counts. He pleaded not guilty to a revised 14-count indictment and said that if his company was involved in any illegal activity, it was the fault of his former chief financial officer, James Davis.

Davis, the prosecution's star witness, has pleaded guilty to three counts:
conspiracy to commit mail, wire and securities fraud; mail fraud; and conspiracy to obstruct an SEC investigation.

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