“My son was not a drug dealer.”
These were the words of Safiya Williams yesterday as she spoke out about the death of her nine-year-old son, Cyon Paul.
A Surinamese-born Dutch national, who exhausted almost every legal avenue available to him in a bid to avoid extradition to Singapore, will today be transported to the southeast Asian country to face trial for fraud. Amarnath Jagmohan, who has been detained in Trinidad since he was arrested on a provisional arrest warrant in January last year, lost his final attempt yesterday afternoon, when an Appeal Court judge dismissed his application for a stay of his pending extradition.
In an oral ruling during an emergency hearing at the Hall of Justice, Knox Street, Port-of-Spain, Appellate Judge Prakash Moosai said Jagmohan’s proposed judicial review proceedings challenging Attorney General Anand Ramlogan’s decision to sign off on his extradition was “doomed for failure.” The lawsuit was filed earlier this week as officials from Singapore arrived in Trinidad to escort Jagmohan back to that country.
Legal sources said the officials remained in Trinidad while Jagmohan completed his legal battle this week and will escort him aboard a flight at the Piarco International Airport later today. On Tuesday, High Court Judge James Aboud, like Moosai, dismissed Jagmohan’s application while denying a stay to the extradition. Jagmohan appealed on Thursday, with Moosai reserving his decision to 3.30 pm yesterday.
Jagmohan was given a lifeline in January this year, when another High Court judge hearing a habeas corpus writ application challenging his extradition had ruled that his continued detention was unlawful. Justice Carol Gobin had also agreed with Jagmohan’s attorney David West, who submitted that some of the documents from the Singaporean authorities used in his client’s extradition proceedings were inadmissible as they had not been properly certified and were missing a photograph.
As part of her ruling Gobin ordered his immediate release and also granted Jagmohan $350,000 bail. However, because of stringent conditions and requirements Gobin placed on the bail, Jagmohan was unable to post it. On March 18, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal allowed the State’s appeal of Gobin’s judgment and reinstated the extradition proceedings which were approved by Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar.
In a press release sent late yesterday evening, the office of the Attorney General said before signing off on the extradition after the Appeal Court’s ruling earlier this year, he invited West to still make representations to him (Ramlogan) before he made his decision on the issue.
The release said: “Mr West responded and gave several reasons why his client ought not to be extradited. However, the Attorney General gave due consideration and deliberation to all of the reasons provided to his office and he thereafter signed the warrant to return Mr Jagmohan to Singapore.” As part of the ruling, Jagmohan was ordered to pay the State’s legal costs for his litigation challenging his extradition. The State’s legal team comprised Pamela Elder, SC, Jagdeo Singh and Zelica Haynes.
Why he is wanted
Jagmohan, 52, was born in Suriname but is a citizen of the Netherlands. It is alleged that some time in May 2003, he visited several moneylenders in Singapore and attempted to change counterfeit euros for Singapore dollars and was also found in possession of counterfeit euros. Jagmohan was charged in Singapore but fled the country before his trial while on bail. He was held in T&T last year January 29 under a provisional warrant of arrest.