An attempt by authorities in Ghana to extradite an alleged British drug lord home to face charges have hit a snag.
The extradition process has been put on hold after lawyers for the accused, David McDermott, challenged an earlier court order to have him extradited to the United Kingdom.
The country’s High Court has as a result adjourned the case to allow McDermott’s lawyers file the necessary papers and serve the process on the court and the Attorney General.
The Criminal division of the High Court in April gave the all clear for the state to extradite McDermott who is alleged to have smuggled 400 kilogrammes of cocaine into the United Kingdom.
He is wanted by the UK government to stand trial in the Liverpool and Knowsley Magistrate’s Court for narcotic offences.
The 42-year-old who has been on the run from UK authorities for 3 years, was arrested on March 11 at his home in the affluent Burma Hills in Accra during a joint operation by officers from the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and Ghana’s Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).
He is facing three counts including conspiracy to supply a controlled drug and conspiracy to blackmail.
Although the Court says the charges are not political in nature, McDermott’s lawyers think otherwise.
Ghanaian news website myjoyonline.com reports that counsel for McDermott, Victor Adawudu, argued in court that the extradition treaty between Ghana and the UK had been repealed and narcotic offences were not part of crimes that warranted extradition.
He also told the court that there was no warrant from a magistrate for McDermott’s arrest.
In its ruling, however, the court disagreed with lawyer’s argument, stating that although the treaty had been repealed, some of its provisions were maintained and those provisions had kept the treaty in force, the website reported.