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E-mail from Ken Collier to
Honorable Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler

From: Ken Collier <kenc@athabascau.ca>
To: webadmin@justice.gc.ca
Subject: The matter of John Graham - extradition proceedings
Date sent: Thu, 16 Dec 2004

Dear Mr. Cotler,

I am writing to express concern about the extradition proceedings under way against John Graham in Vancouver. I believe it is very unsound for the government of Canada to take a passive and unexamined approach to this case, or any such case.

The current policy for extradition between the US and Canada -- where the two countries have agreed essentially on a handshake and a brief procedural review of documentation for an extradition -- leaves very little open for the lawyers to question or to takeaction upon. The lawyers for John have raised many important issues during these hearings, but such informal extradition practices do not lend themselves to protections Canadian citizens would get in other court proceedings.

The problem with this "friendly" agreement between the US and Canada, is that it assumes the US Government will always act in good faith when prosecuting a case against a Canadian citizen. However, history reveals many instances where the US Government has engaged in wrongful and malicious prosecution against Native Americans, especially those involved with the American Indian Movement during the 1970s, a period during which I followed those prosecutions in the press fairly closely.

For this reason, I believe it is unconstitutional that the Canadian Government should represent only the United States in such a preceding, rather than representing the Canadian citizen's rights who is being sought. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canada's sovereignty are in question when a foreign nation with such a history of prosecutorial abuse can extract a citizen, while the Canadian Government fails to defend the individual's rights and freedoms against the foreign government's claim, should they be false and malicious -- as is evident in the charge again John Graham.

My request is that the Government of Canada, and the Ministry of Justice in particular, take very stringent care to make sure that any extradition be based on hard evidence only; that claims by the US government be subjected to the closest of scrutiny; that John Graham be provided with sufficient funding to mount a complete defense; and that the proceedings for extradition be open and accountable to the public.

Please reply to the email address below.

Thank You,
Ken Collier, MSW, PhD
Associate Vice President Academic -
Special Projects, (on Leave)
Athabasca University,
1 University Drive,
Phone: (780) 675-6923
E-mail: kenc@athabascau.ca