Dying man wins appeal against extradition

| 02/04/2020 | 16 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): An American national living in Cayman who was charged with counterfeit crimes in the US relating to the labelling of pet medication has won his appeal against extradition. Dr Iain Nigel MacKellar (62), who lives in North Side, is suffering from serious health problems and had challenged efforts to send him to the US after his arrest in 2017, on various grounds and his declining health. However, last year the Summary Court ruled to extradite him.

MacKellar appealed that decision and the Grand Court heard his case in November. Earlier this week the judge delivered her verdict, overturning the magistrate’s decision after weighing the evidence that MacKellar, who is a vet, would be unlikely to survive the move to the United States.

In her ruling, Dame Linda Dobbs said it would be oppressive to extradite Dr MacKellar and discharge the dying man. She said that if the magistrate who heard the original case had addressed and identified issues in this case correctly, given the “uncontroverted medical evidence, she would have reached the same conclusion”.

MacKellar has denied the allegations that he was part of a con involving the sale of counterfeit flea and tick powder. The indictment was filed in Texas almost five years ago, however MacKellar has always maintained that the products were original but improperly packaged for the overseas market.

MacKellar contested the extradition request on the grounds that the order was an abuse of process, that the offences did not amount to an offence in the US or in the Cayman Islands, and that it would be unjust and oppressive to extradite him.

The judge found that MacKellar should not be extradited because of his serious medical problems. She wrote that the summary magistrate was wrong when she refused to consider hearing additional evidence supporting his declining health. It was also apparent that he would be taken into custody by the US Homeland Security and would not be bailed.

Given the onerous conditions he would face in the custody of Homeland Security, the judge found that MacKellar would be at significant risk of dying in that custody.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hope he gets well real soon. Poor thing. Now he can rest easy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Disgraceful decision.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not that you are basing your view in the presumption he is guilty or anything. Perhaps you should read the article more carefully. Irrespective of what they say he did, see the bit about how the alleged offences are not in fact offences in the Cayman Islands? That’s a pretty fundamental point on extradition. Breach that rule and it ends with all sorts of fun and games based on US law. Let’s start with all those Caymanians with dual citizenship who have never filed a US tax return in their lives. Think they should be extradited too?

      • Anonymous says:

        But that wasn’t the grounds applied. In fact another report was the appeals court found for the crown on that aspect. (So they could have extradited him for the accused crime, but couldn’t because he’s too sick / at risk in USA.)

      • Anonymous says:

        To 1.24pm Wrong. The decision was based on his health and not all that other stuff you mentioned. See this quote from the article ” The judge found that MacKellar should not be extradited because of his serious medical problems”.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm. If this was a Jamaican drug importer with serious life threatening ailments, would the verdict be the same?

    • Anonymous says:

      Depends. If he was charged with drug related offences, no. The issue here is not so much the illness as the fact that the charges are not criminal offences in Cayman. Magistrate was asleep at the switch.

  4. Anonymous says:

    And we wonder why the world thinks we are a dodgy jurisdiction……

    • Anonymous says:

      Or, to reflect the actual position (if you bother to read the story) – visiting British Judge stops unlawful, oppressive, extradition.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nothing unlawful or oppressive about it. Not saying that the person is guilty, but he does have to answer the charges. If the man is truly dying, then of course it would make no sense to deport him.

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s oppressive if extradition is sought for something that is not an offence in the country from which you are being extradited. Otherwise you are basically allowing other people’s laws and values to be imposed on the civil liberties of your own residents.

          • Anonymous says:

            Because making millions while importing pet products with counterfeit labels is not illegal here in the Cayman Islands? Get a clue.

        • Anonymous says:

          Impressive, you were literally wrong about everything 11.13!

          1) The Judge decided (having heard the facts unlike you) that it was oppressive.
          2) As a result extradition was against the law i.e. unlawful.
          3) He does not have to answer the charges.
          4) He wasn’t facing deportation.

          Back to law school for you…

          • Anonymous says:

            Impressive indeed:

            1. The Judge decided that it was oppressive… I suppose that Judges are never wrong.

            2. Liberal judges tend to view anything that holds a suspected criminal accountable as oppressive.

            3. Yes, he would have to face the charges. Why do you think he’s running away? If he were to set foot inside of the US, he’d have to sing in front of the Court. Just because some softie Judge in the Cayman Islands said it would be oppressive to extradite him, does not make the serious charges disappear.

            4. He was facing extradition, not deportation – I wrote in haste.

            5. Caymanian Courts are pathetic and come up with all kinds of questionable decisions that make one’s head spin.

            6. Perhaps you ought to acquaint yourself with what this guy’s being charged with before making a fool of yourself…


            7. The charges against him are not of the Mickey Mouse variety.

            8. If he had any decency he would go answer the charges. He got lucky. He knows it. That’s why he’s running away.

            9. Run along now and go hug a thug!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I disagree. There is nothing in Cayman Islands law that gives more protection against extradition than other common law jurisdictions.

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