Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 2009
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Keith Fraser
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Emery, Marc)


Marc Emery's Lawyer Cites Possible U.S. Deal

The extradition hearing for marijuana activist Marc Emery, which was 
scheduled to begin next week, has been adjourned.

Emery's lawyer, Ian Donaldson, told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Anne 
Mackenzie that he needed more time to finalize an agreement with U.S. 
prosecutors that would end the need for the hearing.

Donaldson noted that two of Emery's co-accused have pleaded guilty to 
their part in a scheme in which marijuana seeds were sold for use in 
grow-ops south of the border.

He said that since the pleas by Michelle Rainey and Gregory Williams 
were entered in

Seattle last month, he has been in discussions with the U.S. 
prosecuting counsel.

"He and I have a general framework capable of resolving the case for 
Mr. Emery," said Donaldson.

He said that, under the agreement, Emery would consent to be 
committed for extradition on one of the three criminal counts he 
faces. He noted that the Canadian authorities are opposed to such a move.

He asked for an adjournment of two to three weeks so he could further 
discuss the matter with a U.S. defence lawyer who would handle the 
case in Seattle.

Kerry Swift, a lawyer for the federal justice department, told the 
judge that her superiors in Ottawa were opposed to the adjournment.

She noted that the case had already been delayed a number of times 
and previous negotiations to resolve the matter had gone off the rails.

But the judge said she accepted that Donaldson had made efforts to 
resolve the case and agreed to put off the matter for several weeks. 
The next court appearance is June 3 to address the availability of a 
Crown witness, an undercover officer, who is to testify if the 
hearing goes ahead. Emery was arrested on the drug charges in 2005.
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