Dr. Tobias Bowen Accused Of Child Rape Loses Latest Bid To Block Extradition To U.S.

Dr. Tobias Bowen
Dr. Tobias Bowen

Dr. Tobias Bowen who was accused of raping a child has failed in his latest bid to block extradition to the US in a legal battle that has gone on for two years.

Tobias Bowen, who is from Liberia but lives in Milton Keynes, was charged in New York State with seven sex offenses including two of child rape.

According to a U.S. based West Sussex County Times online newspaper, Bowen left the US while on 10,000 US dollar (£6,361) bail in 2010 for Africa. US marshals were tracking his movements, and when he traveled to the UK in April 2014 he was detained at Heathrow.

Since then the doctor, who is in his late 40s, has fought a series of legal actions to stop his removal back to the US, where he says he is at risk of indefinite detention in breach of his human rights.

After his arrest, Westminster Magistrates’ Court ordered his discharge after concluding there was “a real risk” that in New York he would be made the subject of a civil commitment order.

Under New York state law, civil commitment orders can be imposed on sexual offenders after they complete their criminal sentences if they are considered dangerous and suffering from a mental abnormality which predisposes them to repeat their sexual offending.

A district judge ruled that imposing such an order would constitute a flagrant denial of Dr Bowen’s rights under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights not to lose his liberty without due process.

But the US government successfully appealed to the High Court in London in a case referred to as “Bowen 1”.

The court ruled in June 2015 that a civil commitment order would not be “inconsistent” with Article 5, and in any event there was no real risk of an order being made in his case.

Dr Bowen tried unsuccessfully to reopen his High Court appeal in “Bowen 2”. His case was then sent back to the magistrates’ court, which referred it to the Home Secretary, who made a formal extradition order.

The case returned to the High Court this year in “Bowen 3”, this time as a challenge to the Home Secretary’s decision, and once again raising the civil commitment issue and Article 5.

But Lord Justice Simon and Mr. Justice Mitting unanimously agreed that the order for extradition must be upheld.

However, the legal battle may not yet be over. It is understood that Dr Bowen has 14 days to seek to take his case to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land.

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About Cholo Brooks 14272 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.