UK incest paedophile suspect makes final bid not to be extradited

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UK incest paedophile suspect makes final bid not to be extradited

He tried to prevent the Randburg Magistrate’s Court from receiving key documents - but failed

Journalist


A suspected British paedophile fighting the UK government’s application to have him extradited, has tried to prevent documents that prove it wants to prosecute him from being submitted to the Randburg Magistrate’s Court.
The 72-year-old Scottish citizen has been living in SA for decades, and it was in 2010 that a warrant of arrest was issued in Britain, two years after his now adult stepdaughters living there laid indecency charges against him, claiming he had abused them for years.
Now, after more than five years in court, he will know at the end of the month whether he will be extradited to his home country to be prosecuted.
However, he continues to fight the UK government’s application.
It was in 2013 that the UK government indicated it wished to extradite the Roodepoort resident, although the local proceedings have been tied up for years. However, a Constitutional Court ruling in 2018 helped provide the state with the ammunition it needed to fully argue its case.
The man had initially argued through his legal team that, based on SA law, the crimes he is accused of occurred more than 20 years prior, meaning they had prescribed and he could not be prosecuted and the extradition proceedings should not go ahead.
The Constitutional Court made a landmark ruling in 2018 that changed the law around sexual assault, which now no longer prescribes after 20 years, meaning victims of historical abuse can open cases against their abusers decades after the abuse has taken place.
Since the case was reinstated the extradition proceedings have been running smoothly in recent months, with both sides concluding their closing arguments.
Magistrate Lee Carolus then requested further documentation proving that the British government still wished to prosecute.
On Tuesday, prosecutor Jacqui Drotsky revealed that the bundle of documents had arrived, and detailed their contents.
Not only were statements provided from both complainants that they still wished to prosecute the man, so too said affidavits from a UK specialist prosecutor, who provided the legal arguments that would be used against him.
A Section 10(2) certificate was also provided, which is required by the SA Extradition Act to allow extradition proceedings to continue. It essentially confirms that the British government believes it has a strong criminal case against the man.
However, the man’s defence lawyer, Jenna Clark, objected to these documents being submitted to the court, arguing that the state had already concluded its case, and that in terms of international and local legislation there was no precedent for a magistrate to request such further documentation from another government.
Rather, she said, the state needed to request this of its own accord. She said that while Carolus had requested the affidavits confirming the British government wished to prosecute, there was no direct request for the Section 10(2) certificate.
Carolus dismissed Clark’s application to prevent the court from receiving the documents, saying it wasn’t even necessary for them to be submitted to the court.
She said the fact that the state was able to obtain the documentation was an indication that the UK still wanted to proceed with the extradition hearing.
Clark was also insistent that the statements submitted to the court from the man’s daughters were not sworn affidavits, merely transcripts of their interviews with police, and that this also flouted local law.
However, Drotsky was quick to point out that extradition proceedings are not a criminal trial, and that sworn affidavits would not be required. She said the recordings were sufficient evidence simply as part of the proof that the British government had a prima facie case against the Scot.
Carolus agreed. While the magistrate indicated she wished to give judgment on the extradition on Wednesday, she later opted to take her time in formulating it, postponing the case to the end of March to deliver it.
Meanwhile, Times Select has seen the recording transcripts of the interviews with the man’s two stepdaughters, in which they detail how their father figure had molested them when they lived in SA and in the UK. The British investigating officer, Tracy Hall, also revealed that the man had admitted to the crimes in the past.
In 1992, one of the daughters broke down and revealed to her then boyfriend that she had allegedly been abused by her stepfather as a child, and after discussing the issue with her family, discovered her sister too had been a victim of abuse. “On learning what (her daughters) had revealed, (the mother) confronted (the stepfather). In the course of this confrontation, (he) grabbed a gun which was kept in the house and threatened to kill himself. They then discussed the allegations of abuse, to which (he) made partial admissions,” Hall wrote.
However, it was only in 2008 that the two stepdaughters decided to institute criminal charges against their step-father. The police subsequently opened up a criminal case, charging him with three counts of indecent assault by simulated sexual intercourse, nine of indecent assault by digital penetration, and a further nine of indecency by masturbation.
The charge sheet indicates that each of these incidents allegedly took place when the two children were between six and 13 years old. The man has denied the charges against him, though he has declined an opportunity to comment on the matter.

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