Practice and Procedure


PUBLISHED July 2, 2003

There had been sufficient evidence from victims of alleged indecent assaults to justify the applicant's committal for extradition.Application for habeas corpus following the applicant's ('G') committal on 17 January 2003 for extradition to South Africa in respect of allegations of indecent assault. G was a British national with South African residency. On 4 November 2002, authority to proceed with his extradition was granted in connection with allegations of indecent assault on pre-teenage girls. Evidence from his alleged victims produced at his committal included the statement "He put his hand into my panties and touched my noe-noe (vagina)", and other like statements. At that hearing G argued that: (i) the word "vagina" and other proper words had been inserted into the statements to alter their meaning; and (ii) absent those insertions the statements were meaningless. On the present application G argued that: (a) there had been insufficient evidence to raise a prima facie case to justify his committal within the meaning in s.9(8) Extradition Act 1989; and (b) he therefore should not face extradition.HELD: (1) Any reasonable tribunal would have realised that the words in question were childish euphemisms for sexual parts. (2) The parts of the statement that alleged that G had put his hand inside the girls' underwear of themselves comprised the clearest possible evidence of indecent assault. (3) The court had no doubt whatsoever that there was sufficient evidence from each of G's alleged victims to justify the conclusion reached by the Magistrates' Court.Application refused.