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British Home Secretary Considering Extradition of Aldhouse

The 28-year-old kickboxer Longfellow (Right) is wanted on Phuket for the alleged murder of former US Marine Dashawn Longfellow (Left)

 

The 28-year-old kickboxer is wanted in Phuket for the alleged murder of former US Marine Dashawn Longfellow in August 2010.

British Home Secretary Theresa May has been considering the extradition request since June 30. She has to deliver her decision before August 30.

With the first anniversary of the brutal Phuket knifing of Mr. Longfellow now just two weeks away, Thai officials in Britain and Bangkok remain keen to have Mr. Aldhouse returned to face a trial for murder.

While the case against Mr. Aldhouse is believed to have been meticulously presented at Westminster Magistrates Court, conditions at Phuket Prison have already been raised as a cause for concern.

Mr. Aldhouse, a former Birmingham bus driver and bouncer, is being represented by a Queen’s Counsel who will be obliged to pursue the best interests of his client.

If the Home Secretary rules that Mr. Aldhouse can be extradited, an appeal to Britain’s High Court is likely to be mounted. If the Home Secretary rejected the extradition, Thai authorities would also be expected to appeal.

It’s believed that senior officials in Thailand are so keen to have Mr. Aldhouse extradited that if the conditions at Phuket Prison continue to be an issue they would be prepared to have him accommodated in a Western-style two-person cell.

Thailand’s Office of Corrections is reluctant to provide special cells for anyone, especially considering there are not even remand centers for those people who remain innocent and are merely in jail awaiting trial.

The Aldhouse extradition proceedings will also be watched closely on both sides of the Atlantic.

One local police superintendent in Phuket noted that it seems almost unjust to have Thailand foot the bill for imprisoning an expat Briton for the murder of an expat American, simply because the killing took place on Thai soil.

Other, more senior officials in the Thai justice system don’t view Thailand’s responsibilities the same way. They want Mr. Aldhouse in a Thai jail, if he is found guilty, to demonstrate that Phuket is an international destination and that no crime will be tolerated.

While capital punishment in Thailand remains a concern in Britain, where life in jail is now the ultimate penalty for murder, it’s not considered to hinder Mr. Aldhouse’s extradition.

And if Mr. Aldhouse did happen to be sentenced to more than 18 years, he would be incarcerated in Bangkok rather than adding to the swollen population at Phuket Prison. All Thai prisons, though, are thought to be overcrowded at present.

One intriguing aspect of the case comes under the what-if category. American authorities have not had any involvement in official extradition proceedings so far.

But in the unlikely event that the British authorities eventually reject the extradition and allow Mr. Aldhouse to walk free, could and would American officials mount a case for his extradition to the US and try him there for a crime allegedly committed on Phuket?

Pressure for action would certainly be applied strongly on US officials by Mr. Longfellow’s still-grieving family.

The majority of this article was written by Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian

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Posted by on Aug 15 2011. Filed under Tourist in the News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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