More movement on the Michael Ritter front as Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Joanne Veit wrote in her decision of last week that the court should not routinely interfere with a ministerial order to allow extradition proceedings to go ahead.
The best quote from Madame Justice Veit’s decision can be found in Paragraph 5 of the ruling where she says that:
“unless Mr. Ritter is able to establish an air of reality to an alleged Charter breach or demonstrate that the Minister’s decision is deeply flawed from the perspective of natural justice, his rights of disclosure are limited to the actual extradition issues…”
Here’s the full story from the Edmonton Journal…
Ritter loses key decision in extradition battle
Judge denies request for gov’t correspondence
Bill Mah, The Edmonton Journal
Published: Monday, July 31, 2006
EDMONTON – An Edmonton businessman and former legislative legal adviser fighting extradition to the United States to face criminal charges involving a $250-million US pyramid scheme has suffered a legal setback.
An Alberta judge is denying Michael Ritter’s request to order the federal justice minister to turn over correspondence between the ministry and provincial and federal prosecutors.
Ritter and his lawyer want to see documents relating specifically to the government’s decision to allow U.S. extradition proceedings to continue after charges against Ritter were laid in Canada.
The former Alberta chief parliamentary counsel wanted the court to stay the extradition process or strike the minister’s decision to proceed if the federal government refused to disclose the documents. He argued it was “unjust and oppressive” to defend himself against fraud and theft charges in Canada while at the same time defending against extradition proceedings, all while in custody.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Joanne Veit wrote in her decision of last week that the court should not routinely interfere with a ministerial order to allow extradition proceedings to go ahead.
“On its face, there is nothing irrational or unjust in the minister’s decision to confirm the authority to proceed,” Veit wrote, referring to the federal minister’s approval for the extradition process to go ahead.
The minister’s approval was issued in January 2004. She went on to write that there is no link in law between Ritter’s domestic and U.S., charges.
The United States is trying to extradite Ritter to California to face criminal charges laid in October 2003 for money laundering, obstruction of justice and fraud in a case allegedly involving a $250-million US pyramid scheme in which money from later investors is used to pay earlier ones. Ritter has strongly denied any wrongdoing and is fighting extradition.
Check out the entire Michael Ritter Scandal Chronology.