U.S. justice officials admit confusion over Canadian law after failed extradition of Texas sex offender
Adesanya Prince was to be sentenced in May, but crossed border into Quebec at Roxham Road in April
Justice officials in Texas have admitted to some confusion over Canadian law after their first attempt to have a convicted sex offender extradited was dismissed by a Quebec Superior Court judge.
Adesanya Prince appeared in court in Montreal, Friday morning.
In February, he pleaded guilty to possession and distribution of child pornography in Houston.
He was to be sentenced in May, but in April he crossed the border illegally into Quebec at the Roxham Road crossing used by thousands of asylum seekers.
He was arrested by the RCMP, who discovered his conviction and alerted United States authorities, who launched extradition proceedings.
In a decision rendered last week, a Quebec Superior Court judge rejected the extradition request, finding that the documentation submitted by U.S. authorities was "inadmissible and unreliable."
Prince was released but re-arrested this week after U.S. authorities indicated they would resubmit their extradition request.
Request failed to mention guilty plea
The root of the problem was that the U.S. extradition request failed to mention or acknowledge Prince's guilty plea. It was a request to have him returned to the U.S. for prosecution.
Calling this "odd", Superior Court Judge Daniel Royer said he could not extradite a man for prosecution who had already pleaded guilty, so he dismissed the request.
In court Friday, Constantina Antonopoulos, a lawyer for the Canadian Department of Justice, told a judge she received a letter from U.S. authorities this morning.
Antonopoulos said in the letter Texas authorities admitted to some confusion over Canadian law, specifically as to whether a guilty plea was enough to establish a conviction in Canadian courts.
She said the letter indicated that U.S. authorities intended to file the extradition request again, making it clear that they wanted Prince extradited so he can be sentenced and not for prosecution.
Prince's lawyer is on holidays and wasn't present for the hearing. One of her colleagues requested the matter be put off until next Friday.
Prince will remain in custody until then.