Judge sets May 3 deadline for RP to submit extradition documents

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (Apr. 16) – The deadline for the Philippine government to submit the “extradition package” against the two children of former Filipino Gen. Carlos F. Garcia was set on May 3rd next month.

This was contained in the “criminal minutes” issued Wednesday (April 15) by Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton of the United States District Court of the Northern District of California in San Francisco at the extradition and status hearing of the bulk smuggling case.

Judge Hamilton also set the “Trial/Motion Setting” of the extradition case on May 13, 2009 at 1:30 p.m.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Candyce Kelly represented the U.S. government at the hearing of the case while defense lawyers Richard Tamor and Julia Jayne appeared on behalf of Ian Carl, 30, and Juan Paulo Depakakibo Garcia, 27, respectively.

The counsels from both parties “stipulated and agreed that time should be excluded from March 18, 2009 thru April 15, 2009 from the Speedy Trial Act (18 U.S.C. Sections 316(h)(7)A and (B)(iv) in order to allow for reasonable time for the defense to effectively prepare for trial, taking into account the exercise of due diligence.”

Under the Philippine-U.S. extradition treaty, “a person who is provisionally arrested may be discharged from custody upon expiration of sixty (60) days from the date of arrest pursuant to this Treaty if the executive authority of the Requested State (U.S.) has not received the formal request for extradition and the supporting documents required in Article 7.”

The Garcia brothers were arrested separately in Las Vegas, Nevada and in Pontiac, Michigan last February 26, 2009 for bulk smuggling when they tried to bring into the United States $100,000 in 2003.

They were subsequently provisionally arrested on plunder charges filed against them in the Philippines along with their youngest brother, Timothy Mark Depakakibo Garcia, 25, their father, Carlos F. Garcia, former Philippine Armed Forces Comptroller, and their mother, Clarita Depakakibo Garcia.

If the Philippine government fails to submit the documents in the extradition by May 3rd, the Garcia brothers would have to be released from custody if they can secure bond for the bulk smuggling charges.

But Ian Karl and Juan Paolo D. Garcia would be re-arrested “if the extradition request and supporting documents are delivered at a later date.”

If the extradition documents will not be in past May 4th and 5th, Timothy Mark, and Clarita, 58, can also be released one after the other as they were arrested March 4th and 5th, respectively, in Pontiac and in New York City. The mother has a better chance of tasting temporary freedom compared to Ian Karl and Juan Paulo because she does not have other pending criminal charges, like bulk smuggling.

While Timothy Mark’s forfeiture case was ordered re-opened by United States District Court Judge Richard J. Holwell of the Southern District of New York following his arrest. It is not known if he can be released when the “extradition package” is not delivered by deadline.

Ms. Garcia is due for “evidentiary hearing” of her extradition on May 13, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. before Judge George Caram Steeh of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit.

While Timothy Mark is still waiting for a court decision on his extradition detention in U.S District Court of Southern New York.

Timothy Mark’s father, Carlos F. Garcia, a former comptroller of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, is serving a two-year jail sentence for perjury when he could not explain the “significant discrepancies of his legitimate reported income.”

Except for General Garcia, the rest of the members of the family are all US citizens and are subjects to extradition.

The Garcia family was charged with amassing “in the form of deposits in banks, undeclared cash holdings, acquisition of real property, and other personal property, including property in the United States” that were disproportionate to family’s legitimate income.

Their income was estimated at 303-million pesos or about US$6.2 million

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