Monday, June 03, 2019

US v. Knotek, No. 17-55572 (6-3-19)(Paez w/Parker & Clifton). This is an extradition habeas. The 9th held that the government could extradite a US citizen to serve a two decades old sentence because, well, it could. The government has authority under 18 U.S.C. § 3196, which governs US citizens and extradition. The government has discretion to ship its citizens to foreign countries so long as a treaty does not forbid it. The treaty with the Czech Republic allows it. It is up to the government to exercise discretion. It did so here. Moreover, the conviction, for attempted extortion, is an offense in both countries.

The defendant’s arguments regarding constitutionality was rejected by the 9th. This follows the Sixth Circuit and other circuits. The government has discretion.

The defendant also lost in arguing that the attempted extortion was without merit and that he had a “claim of right” defense. That is, he pointed out the economic harm to the “victims” that might befall. The 9th found that there was a reasonable basis to find attempted extortion.  This is not unreasonable.

A hard fought effort with a lot of treaty and statutory fine print by Sonam Henderson and Kathryn Young, AFPDs In Cal Central (LA). Extradition matters are always tough sledding.  

The decision is here:


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