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Balo’s wife faces extradition
Just days after a warrant was executed for her arrest in the United States for the death of her former common-law husband, Doreen Alexander was taken before a Port-of-Spain magistrate on an extradition warrant. She is wanted in the US for conspiring with others to engage in hostage-taking resulting in the death of a US citizen, in this case, US war veteran Balram “Balo” Maharaj. She is also wanted to answer charges of conspiring with others to take hostage, her teenage son Dinesh Maharaj and Maharaj (Balram), as well as aiding and abetting hostage-taking.
Alexander, 45, stood before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar yesterday, facing extradition on the three-count indictment for offences resulting from Maharaj’s death. Maharaj, 62, who resided with relatives at Chandy Lane, El Socorro Road, San Juan, was kidnapped on April 6, 2005, from the Samaan Tree Bar, Aranguez. A $3 million ransom was demanded for his safe release, but Maharaj died while in captivity and no ransom was paid. His remains were found stuffed and buried in two containers in the Gran Curacaye, Santa Cruz, forest on January 8, 2006.
At the Port-of-Spain Eighth Court yesterday, Alexander, who last appeared in that very courtroom when she was committed to stand trial for Maharaj’s murder, remained composed as the charges were read to her.
She told the magistrate she had retained attorney Bindra Dolsingh to represent her and would leave any comments in answer to the charges, to her lawyer. The requesting US state was represented by Larry Lalla and Sunita Harrikissoon, legal executive in the Central Authority in the office of the Attorney General. Lalla objected to bail, deeming the accused as one who would be unlikely to return to court if she was granted bail.
Equally important, he said, were the nation’s treaty obligations in international law and ensuring to the requesting state that the fugitive was present in court. After being refused bail, Alexander was ordered back in court on February 1. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agents, on January 18, 2011, executed a warrant for the arrest of Alexander. Alexander was incarcerated at the Golden Grove Women’s Prison, Golden Grove Road, Arouca, when the FBI agents visited her. At the start of November 2010, FBI agents met with Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard, in relation to the Alexander’s extradition to the US.
At that time, FBI field agents also visited Alexander at the women’s prison, reportedly asking her to willingly accede to going to the US for trial in Washington, DC. The pending charges in the US were laid pursuant to the United States Code Title 18, Section 3238. Cpl Sydney Job of the local Interpol unit brought the accused before the court.
The case so far
Former soldier Corporal Ricardo De Four, Zion Clarke, Kevon Demerieux, Wayne Pierre, Anderson Straker, Christopher Sealey and Kevin Nixon have already been convicted in the US for Maharaj’s death. A jury sitting in E Barnett Federal Courthouse in Washington DC, before Judge John Bates, on July 31, 2009, convicted the seven T&T nationals for taking Maharaj hostage, which resulted in his death.
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