Liberia’s Extradition Request For Cockrum Still Stands

Counselor Steven Schneebaum, lawyer of the Liberian Government in the Economic Sabotage Case involving Mr. Melvin Johnson and the former Managing Director of the Liberia Airport Authority, Ellen Corkrum, says the indictment brought against the two is still alive since the motion the defendants filed to dismiss the indictment was denied by a court in Liberia.

Cllr. Schneebaum said with respect to the extradition request, he is currently working with the Justice Department in the United States to address questions and concerns the Department raised with him.

According to the Liberia News Agency, Cllr. Schneebaum made the statement Monday in a live interview via telephone with Information Minister Lewis Brown on the Liberia Broadcasting System.

He said the Justice Department has asked him to provide additional evidence that they will be comfortable using as a basis for a criminal prosecution, something he has been doing.

Schneebaum explained that most recently, he presented a revised draft declaration in support of the extradition request and the Bureau of International Affairs within the Justice system has reviewed it and gotten back to him with some comments.

According to him, he is in the process of addressing the additional comments, adding: “But we think we are very close to having the Department of Justice tell us that they are content with what we have given them and they must make a decision as to whether to proceed with the extradition.”  

He noted that if they do proceed, the next step will be to present the indictment at the extradition request through the United States Attorney that is the Chief Prosecutor for the judicial district in which the defendants reside.

Cllr. Schneebaum noted that Mr. Johnson will be tried by the United States District Court in Georgia in Atlanta, while Corkrum would be tried in District Court of Massachusetts.     

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