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Letter of support by Yukon Government Member of Legislative Assembly and Justice Critic for the Opposition, Lorraine Peter

Whitehorse, Yukon

December 16, 2003
 
Attn: The Honourable Irwin Cotler
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8

RE: JOHN GRAHAM EXTRADITION HEARING

Dear Mr. Cotler –

First, please accept my congratulations on your recent appointment to Cabinet.
As Justice critic for the Official Opposition in the Yukon Legislative Assembly, I write to draw your attention to the case of John Graham. Mr. Graham is a Canadian citizen of First Nations ancestry with extensive family connections in the Yukon.

After years of living peacefully in the Yukon and British Columbia, Mr. Graham was arrested in Vancouver on December 1. He now faces possible extradition to the United States to stand trial in respect to the murder of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash in December, 1975.

While I am not in a position to comment on Mr. Graham’s guilt or innocence, I am greatly concerned to see that his case is handled with the utmost respect for due process. Given your own background, I am sure you can appreciate the concerns that many people have with how previous situations involving the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations and former members of the American Indian Movement have been handled, specifically the Leonard Peltier case.

I urge you to direct your officials to do everything in their powers to ensure that Mr. Graham receives the full benefits of Canadian justice, and that he not be extradited to the United States without thorough and rigorous scrutiny of the allegations on which an extradition request is based.

Thank you for your attention to this serious matter.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Peter
MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin