Release bid fails by inmate awaiting US extradition

| 10/06/2024 | 8 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): Chief Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale said a habeas corpus application by Juan Carlos Gonzalez Infante on the grounds that he has been unlawfully detained “was wholly misguided” because he has a right of appeal, and that hearing is set for 18 June. Gonzalez Infante appealed against his extradition to the United States on cocaine trafficking charges, but because of numerous delays, he has now been detained here for over four years.

A court found that Gonzalez Infante, a Venezuelan national, should be extradited to the United States in November 2022. However, that decision is subject to the right of appeal, so the chief justice said last week during the application for his release from jail that it “must be dismissed as the remedy the applicant seeks is not available to him” as he is able to appeal.

On 30 May 2019, Gonzalez Infante arrived in the Cayman Islands on a private aircraft he piloted. He was arrested on 4 June on suspicion of smuggling gold and money laundering. He was remanded in custody pending trial and has been at HMP Northward ever since.

An application for his extradition to the USA was made in November 2019. However, before his extradition hearing, Gonzalez Infante stood trial in the Grand Court along with several others accused of smuggling gold and money laundering. They were all acquitted in March 2020 following a jury trial.

On 8 September 2020, Gonzalez Infante was acquitted of related charges before the Summary Court. On 11 September 2020, he made an application for bail but it was refused. The extradition hearing was eventually heard in November 2020, and the magistrate found that the extradition request was lawful and handed down the judgment in January, ordering that the case be referred to the governor.

Then, in March last year, the governor made an order that he be extradited to the US to stand trial on drug smuggling offences allegedly committed between March 2006 and 2007, including conspiracy to import, intention to distribute and the possession of over 5kg of cocaine and money laundering.

While Gonzalez Infante has been in jail for a considerable period, the chief justice found there was nothing unlawful about that time, given the circumstances. The case has been plagued with delays for a variety of reasons, including legal aid issues, representation and delays in securing medical reports. Gonzalez Infante, who is 62 years old, is said to be suffering from a number of health problems, including the onset of early dementia.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Give him PR. He owns premier property at HMP.

  2. Everclear and present danger says:

    806am you must understand that those behind him and those involved with him understand this very dire situation and will now attempt to remedy it someway or another. He needed to be gone from here long long time ago.So the others can also face justice?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Something isn’t right. This man should have been subjected to some justice long before now. Justice delayed is Justice denied!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Judge is right. But what a national embarrassment that a man should wait 5 years in prison, to a great extent because the idiots running legal aid can’t do their job.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s what happens when you adopt crime . Those of us that don’t adopt crime, don’t sit in prison.
      Do you get it?

      • Anonymous says:

        I get that in our society people are innocent until proved guilty. If you proceed on the basis that a charge = guilt that is called totalitarianism.

        If you like could accuse you of something you hadn’t done to make the point more personal for you?

        Do you get that?

    • Aaaa says:

      gov run legal aid remeber that.
      so gov dening justice to more than this person as they cannot perform their elected duty…..remember when it comes election time.

      oh thats matter who is voted in its all about self enrichment when we have a premier paid more than most premiers in the world.
      way to go Cayman….follow the crowd….rich get richer

  5. Anonymous says:

    Let him go to the states as he is costing us a fortune


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