Extradition Of American To Tonga To Face Murder Charges Awaits U.S. Decision

Secretary of State has final say on whether Fletcher will be returned

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, April 5, 2017) – The United States Government is still considering the extradition of Dean Jay Fletcher, an American citizen who escaped police custody in Vava’u last year after being charged with the murder of his wife on their yacht Sea Oak. 

Tonga’s Acting Attorney General ‘Aminiasi Kefu said that Fletcher made submissions to the US Secretary of State before the deadline of 1 April 2017, and was asking for a stay of extradition from the US to Tonga, possibly on humanitarian grounds.

This means that Tonga's prosecutors will have to wait until the US Secretary of State makes the final decision on whether or not  to extradite Fletcher back to Tonga, he said.

The United States District Court for the District of Hawaii ruled in February this year that Fletcher is capable under the law of being extradited.

The decision to extradite is passed to the Executive Branch to make the final decision whether to extradite or not.

Extradition order

The Court had found that Fletcher is extraditable for each of the offences in which the Government of Tonga had applied for his return to Tonga, and issued a Certification of Extraditability and Order of Commitment for him, which was received by Tonga on 3 February.

Fletcher is accused of murdering Patricia Linne Kearney, a Canadian, in July 2016 on their yacht Sea Oak in Vava'u.

It is understood that he remains in the custody of the U.S Marshals awaiting the decision of the US Secretary of State.

Matangi Tonga Magazine
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