from Fran Asp
March 26, 2004
Honorable Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler
Dear Minister Cotler;
I am writing this letter on behalf of my brother John Graham, who is currently fighting extradition proceedings to the United States. As I am sure you are aware, John has been accused of murdering Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash in South Dakota 28 years ago.
I can assure you that John did not commit this crime. He has steadfastly maintained his innocence of any involvement in Anna Mae’s death. We believe that should John be extradited that he will not receive a fair trial or due process in the United States. We believe this because of the FBI.’s handling of cases involving aboriginal people involved in the American Indian Movement. History has shown time and again that the FBI’s tactics included fabricating evidence, threats, and falsifying affidavits to achieve their goals. I believe their goal is to convict John of this crime and therefore closing the door on further scrutiny to their nefarious actions against the American Indian Movement.
Although our family grieves the fate of Anna Mae, we do not believe that justice will be served by convicting innocent men of this crime. We want the truth to come out and that the people responsible for her death are brought to justice. Only by the truth being exposed will closure and healing for Anna Mae’s family be possible. It has hurt our family and John immensely being falsely accused of such a horrific crime.
If there is to be any trial, we urge you to consider having the trial in Canada, as John is a Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Canadian Citizen, and Anna Mae was also a Canadian Citizen. We believe that the entire case against my brother has been fabricated by the FBI and that the trial of Arlo Looking Cloud (John’s co-accused) was yet another travesty of justice.
We also believe that in order for the truth about what happened to Anna Mae and many other victims of the FBI’s “Reign of Terror” on the Pine Ridge Reservation there needs to be an independent enquiry into the FBI’s involvement of the many violent incidences that occurred during this time period to date.
Included in this package is 180 signed letters from concerned Yukoners’, who oppose the extradition of John to the United States. Our Member of Parliament, Larry Bagnell has graciously agreed to hand deliver this package to you.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and I look forward to a positive outcome of these tragic events that are transpiring.
Fran Asp on behalf of the family of John Graham