Tonga formally requests U.S. return Dean Jay Fletcher

    Tonga’s Office of Attorney General said this morning it has submitted on Tuesday 6 a formal request to extradite Dean Jay Fletcher, the United States citizen whom Tonga blames for the death of his wife in Vavaʻu Islands.

    The Office said it made the submission through the Embassy of the United States of America in Suva, Fiji.

    Fletcher is accused of murdering his wife Patricia Linne Kearney on 6 July 2016 at Neiafu, Vava’u, the Office said.

    The extradition request was delivered by the Acting Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions to the US Consular Office to first be certified, before it would be delivered through diplomatic channels to the United States State Department and then to the United States Department of Justice for consideration and processing.

    The extradition request will then be submitted by the United States Department of Justice to the United States Federal Court in Honolulu, Hawaii to consider and decide whether to grant Tonga’s request.

    If the US Federal District Court grants the Tongan Government’s request, such decision may be reviewed for its legality under a habeas corpus application made by Fletcher to a US Federal Court of Appeals.

    An appeal from a decision of the US Court of Appeals can be made to the US Supreme Court.

    If the US Courts do decide to grant the Tongan Government’s request, the ultimate decision whether to extradite Fletcher to Tonga or not, will be made by the United States Government in accordance with the laws of the United States.

    The Tongan Government’s extradition request is expected to be presented for consideration by US Attorneys to the US Federal District Court in Honolulu, Hawaii on 10 January 2017.

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