Dear Honourable Cotler,
I am writing to you because I am concerned about John Graham.
John Graham is a Canadian aboriginal man from Whitehorse, Yukon. He is a father to eight children, a community organizer, and an advocate for aboriginal issues. John Graham was arrested on a U.S. indictment in Vancouver on December 1, 2003, and is currently awaiting an extradition hearing. John Graham is charged with the murder of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash, who was his friend and colleague in the American Indian Movement during the mid-1970s.
He has always maintained his innocence of this crime which occurred in South Dakota 28 years ago. Leonard Peltier, a fellow activist in the American Indian Movement, suffered an extradition from Canada based on fabricated evidence and false affidavits presented by the FBI.
The former justice minister and judge who allowed the extradition, Warren Allmand, has since said that he would never have agreed to the extradition had he known some affidavits and evidence presented by the U.S. were false.
In a recent statement of support, Leonard Peltier himself said, "I fear that John will not receive a fair trial in the U.S. anymore than I did. I must remind you, it is court record that the FBI lied to extradite me back to the U.S."
Leonard Peltier's subsequent trial has been widely recognized as a travesty of justice, attracting criticism from human rights organizations and activists including Amnesty International, Nelson Mandela and Jesse Jackson. Because Leonard Peltier's case was based on matters directly connected to the charges against John Graham, I am deeply concerned that the evidence presented may be false and groundless. In fact, the trial of John Graham's co-accused Arlo Looking Cloud revealed a case built entirely on hearsay and innuendo.
For these reasons, and because John Graham is a First Nation Canadian citizen arrested in Canada and charged with a crime against another Canadian, it is my hope that the Canadian Government will prevent an extradition, and will agree instead to a trial on Canadian soil.
I look forward to your reply.