John Graham story and action to be taken

This has nothing to do with saving taxes or making
It does have everything to do with our freedoms and the
miscarriage of justice that happened with the
imprisonment of Leonard Pelletier of AIM (American
Indian Movement) and the Battle of Wounded Knee.
Jennifer Wade was a worker with Dr Martin Luther King
when he was assassinated.  She presently works with
Amnesty International in Vancouver. I am pleased to
pass this on.  Try and read it and do some thinking
about how we (the white man) have treated the First
Nations people in North America so abysmally.
David Ingram
 -----Original Message-----
From: J.A. Wade [mailto:jawade at]
Sent: Monday, December 20, 2004 11:19 PM
To: Gowans Helen; Wood Ken; Brown Elizabeth; Quakers
Can Friends Serv Com; Sing Tao News Room; Tutu
Reverend; Toronto Star; Warren Peter #3; Woodrow
Coward; Stephen Puddicomb; CCIA; Courier; Danish Centre
for Human Rights; Davis Dawn; kmakin at;
Ingram David
Subject: John Graham story and action to be taken
Please pass on to press and organizations that might be
John Graham Defense Update December 17, 2004
Included are the revised updates from the extradition
hearings of  the past two weeks. These updates have
also been posted on the  John Graham Defense Committee
website, This concludes our
updates from these  extradition hearings, until court
reconvenes on January 25th,  2005.
We thank you for your continued interest and support.
Matthew Lien
John Graham Defense Committee
Hello friends and supporters,
As you probably already know, December 6, 2004 was the
first  day of extradition hearings for John Graham.
Following are  updates from those hearings, for your
Day 1: December 6, 2004
In the morning prior to court, John was feeling some
stress but  was also very positive to be walking the
path of truth. He was  surrounded my many friends and
family members, some from the  local area and others
who flew to Vancouver to observe the  hearings and
offer their support.
During the first day, John's lawyers and the Crown
began  presenting their positions before BC Supreme
Court Justice  Bennett. John's lawyers reviewed the
details of his arrest with an  officer on the witness
stand, examining how John was first  detained on a
false accusation of harassment. While in police
custody on this charge, John was allowed to contact a
lawyer --  which he did. After this call, however, John
was then informed of a  new charge relating to the US
indictment for the murder of Anna  Mae Aquash. The
original complaint evaporated and was replaced  solely
by this new charge. After being informed of the new
charge,  John was not asked if he wished to contact
legal counsel -- an  apparent violation of his rights,
as John was now in further  jeopardy -- and was further
Another witness for the Defense was a woman employed at
the  local police detachment where John was required to
check in on a  daily basis. Not only has John been
checking in consistently and  reliably, but he had also
made friends of the staff and had sold  one of his
hand-crafted willow chairs to a woman working there.
John has been crafting such items to help subsidize his
income,  since the restrictions of house arrest make it
nearly impossible to  find other employment.
Day 2 - December 7, 2004
The second day was devoted to a few procedural matters,
with a great deal of time spent reviewing the arrest
procedures and the apparent violation of John's rights
once informed of the charge relating to the US
At the conclusion of the second day, the hearings were
adjourned until Thursday at 10:00 AM.
Day 3 - December 9, 2004
The day began with the lawyers for John Graham
continuing their review of the arrest procedures and
possible violations of John's rights.
A new argument presented centered around the
identification and  a photograph of John taken at the
time of arrest in Vancouver.  The photo was faxed to
the US for identification. The individual  which the US
relied upon to positively identify the photo was John
Trudell, a witness for the prosecution. John Trudell
looked at the  photo and identified it only as
"Graham". He never referred to the  person in the photo
as "John Boy," as he had consistently in the  past.
Furthermore, the arrest sheet sent from Vancouver
described the man in custody as Caucasian, 87 kg in
weight, and  188 cm tall -- several pounds and inches
more than John's weight  and height, not to mention the
oversight that John is clearly an  Indigenous man.
Subsequently, the judge ruled the booking sheet
This raised many important questions about the
procedures during the arrest. This also led to
questions about how the US had  obtained the original
description of John Graham, and how they  determined it
was the same description as the "John Boy"  described
in much of the documentation. It appears as though the
US may have sent agents north to Canada, to meet with
John and  obtain identifying information, and then
return to include this  information in a warrant for
John's arrest. This would suggest they  had no idea who
they were looking for, and supports John's  assertion
that agents had repeatedly come to the Yukon and
threatened him to name a killer responsible for Anna
Mae's death,  and that if he did not, they would "ruin
his life".
Once John was arrested, the US and Canadian
authorities, and  John Trudell, concluded the Canadian
authorities had arrested the  right man -- even though
much of the information describing John  on the arrest
sheet was incorrect.
John's lawyers also questioned much of the case law
which the Crown was relying on to defend themselves
against apparent procedural improprieties. It was
expressed by John's lawyers that  the case law was
outdated, and had since been replaced with  cases that
had set new precedence supporting an individual's
rights as balanced with the rights of society -- in
John's case, the  balance had shifted much too far from
an individual's rights as  enshrined in the Canadian
Charter or Rights.
Near the end of the day, the Crown asked to know if
John's  lawyers intended to request a Stay of
Proceedings, to prepare  their position against such a
request. It was confirmed that John's  lawyers did
intend to request a Stay of Proceedings, based in part
on an affidavit provided by the legal counsel for Arlo
Looking  Cloud, the credibility and reliability of
another witness, and new  information about the
availability of another witness which raised  questions
about the US' certification of evidence.
Arlo Looking Cloud is the only alleged eye witness the
prosecution intends to call, to testify against John
Graham in a US trial. The affidavit, however, declares
that Arlo will refuse to testify against  John should
such a trial occur (as he demonstrated recently when
refusing to testify before a Grand Jury). Many believe
Arlo was  coerced into providing false testimony
against John, which  inadvertently led to his own
conviction earlier this year. Now that  Arlo is no
longer under the influence of alcohol and other drugs
(as he admitted to being in his videotaped
"confession") and is  now being represented by unbiased
and qualified legal counsel,  Arlo has recanted much of
his previous testimony. Accusations of  drugs and
alcohol being provided by the original authorities from
the time of his arrest persist.
Court was then adjourned for the day.
The Final Week - Days 4, 5, 6 and 7
Some thoughts on extradition...
As we entered the final week of hearings, we expected
to  conclude before the week's end. Without the ability
of John's  lawyers to examine the US Government's
evidence (as restricted  under US - Canada extradition
law), we are considerably limited in  what weaknesses,
abuses of process, and untruths we can  expose.
Given the current policy for extradition between the US
and  Canada -- where the two countries have agreed
essentially on a  handshake, a brief procedural review
and a rubber stamping of  documentation for an
extradition -- there is very little we are able  to
question at this stage. The lawyers for John have
raised many  important issues during these hearings,
and these could prove  much more useful during an
appeal to the Supreme Court and the  Minister of
Justice. We are nevertheless fully prepared for the
possibility that the judge may have no choice but to
issue an order  of extradition, and recognize that this
would only conclude the first  round.
The problem with this "friendly" agreement between the
US and Canada, is that it assumes the US Government
will always act in good faith when prosecuting a case
against a Canadian citizen. However, history reveals
many instances where the US  Government has engaged in
wrongful and malicious prosecution  against Native
Americans, notably those involved with the  American
Indian Movement during the 1970s.
For this reason, we believe it is unconstitutional that
the Canadian Government should represent the United
States in such a  preceding, rather than representing
the rights of the Canadian  citizen being sought, and
places the Canadian Charter of Rights  and Freedoms and
Canada's very sovereignty into question.
In our opinion, when a foreign nation -- let alone the
most powerful nation on Earth -- has a documented
history of prosecutorial  abuse again Native Americans,
they must not be allowed to  extract a citizen from
Canada without disclosing the evidence. The  Canadian
Government must defend the individual's rights and
freedoms against the foreign government's claim, should
they be  potentially false and malicious -- as is
evident in the charge again  John Graham.
However, during these hearings, we see the Crown
repeatedly reminding the judge that she has no
authority to question the "reliability and credibility
of the evidence" beyond the summary,  even though much
of it has been proven to be unreliable or  unavailable.
Their position is that a Canadian judge can not have
discretion over the reliability of evidence, without
having a detailed  knowledge of the US legal system.
As someone watching from a Canadian perspective, it is
an insult  to Canadian sovereignty -- not to mention
aboriginal sovereignty --  that the Canadian court
which alleges to provide a fair and  unbiased venue,
has no right to question, or even to view first- hand,
the evidence supposedly held by the United States.
John's lawyers continue to refer to existing case law
which states  that the Canadian judge's role "must not
be reduced to  'meaningless'". Precisely what the role
of the judge can be,  however, seems to be unclear and
a point of continuing argument.
We are therefore fully prepared to challenge this
existing  extradition policy before the Supreme Court
of Canada.
Now... on to the developments of the second week
BC Supreme Court Justice Bennett ordered the Crown to
obtain detailed information from the US on how they
identified John  Graham, on the origin of its
identifying information, and how it  linked that
identification to the person known as "John Boy"
described in other testimony. The Crown obliged. It is
expected to  take a couple of weeks to obtain this
information from the US.
The judge stated that, while she may not have the
authority to rule  on the information obtained from the
request, the Minister would  have more authority to
consider it later. This rare order was a clear
indication that the concerns expressed by the Defense
on the  matters of identification do indeed have
serious weight, and could  assist John's lawyers
further on.
The Defense also continued their questioning of the
evidence described in the summary, focusing on two
points specifically:
1) A witness who was certified by the US as being
available to  testify, Al Gates, had been deceased for
up to nine months prior to  his allegedly being
certified. This raises questions about the  reliability
and credibility of the certification process.
Obviously, Mr.  Gates had not been contacted to confirm
that he would testify,  because he was not alive at the
time. The prosecution asserts that  this is only one
witness who was not correctly certified. However,  the
Defense asserts this is evidence that the certification
process  was not handled with due diligence, and casts
doubt on the entire  body of evidence as certified by
the prosecuting authorities.
John's lead attorney, Terry LaLiberte, went on to
accuse the US of fraud and of misleading the Canadian
2) Another witness presented in the US summary of
evidence who came under question was Frank Dillon. Mr.
Dillon has previously stated that John told him he had
to "off" Anna Mae. However, the Defense has acquired
Grand Jury testimony where Frank Dillon testified that
John had never said this, and that John had never  used
the word "off." The contradictory testimony obviously
calls  into question the reliability and credibility of
this evidence.
John's lawyers assert that Canada "can not extradite on
evidence which does not exist, has not been diligently
examined, or is inaccurate." They further assert that,
since the US is a party to the case before the Canadian
court, the court must be prepared to  judge the
evidence which has come into question.
Following these arguments, the Defense requested the
judge consider either a Stay of Proceedings, or that
she disallow the evidence provided and certified by the
US. Either solution would render this matter closed,
and John would not be extradited.
The court adjourned on Thursday for the holiday season,
planning  to reconvene on January 25, 2005, at which
time the information obtained by the Crown regarding
how the US obtained identifying information for John
Graham will be reviewed. We expect this to require one
or two days, assuming no further information is
brought before the court.
It is unclear how the judge will rule. Clearly, the
Defense has been successful in demonstrating -- even in
this extremely restricted extradition venue -- that the
case prepared by the US is fraught  with inaccuracies,
unreliability, and a lack of credibility. Whether  BC
Supreme Court Justice Bennett deems she has the
authority  to act on this information will be
determined when court  reconvenes.
Home for the holidays
It is good news that John remains free for the holiday
season to  join family from the Yukon to be with him.
He will also join his  children and grandchildren who
have attended the hearings daily,  with love and a
belief in truth shining in their eyes.
We will continue to prepare the case for appeal, in the
event the judge must issue an order to extradite. We
are also planning a  new letter writing campaign, and a
"Letters to your Editors"  campaign.
We wish you all the very best for the coming holiday
season, and thank you most sincerely for your continued
interest and support.
Matthew Lien
John Graham Defense Committee
==> Support justice for John in Court (in Vancouver)
Let’s fill the court to show we care.  Let’s tell John’
s story to people we meet.
January 25th, 2005
==> Participate in the letter-writing campaign
immediately. Write what presses you know or your MP ,
or write the Minister of Justice, the Minister of
Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Indian Affairs,
members of the opposition etc
(Sample letter provided or write your own after looking
at the web page======
Graham’s case is not only about what happens to
indigenous people but it is about Canadian justice
being on trial.
The Honourable Irwin Cotler
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0H8
Email: webadmin at
Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs
John Graham is a Canadian aboriginal man from
Whitehorse, Yukon. He is a
father to eight children, a community organizer, and an
advocate for
aboriginal issues. John Graham was arrested on a U.S.
indictment in
Vancouver on December 1, 2003, and is currently
awaiting an extradition
John Graham is charged with the murder of Anna Mae
Pictou-Aquash, who was
his friend and colleague in the American Indian
Movement during the
mid-1970s. John has always maintained his innocence of
this crime which
occurred in South Dakota 28 years ago and his story has
remained consistent.  He maintains the FBI alone “know
plenty about what happened to Anna Mae”. He claims Anna
Mae was very afraid of the FBI.
Leonard Peltier, a fellow activist in the American
Indian Movement,
suffered an extradition from Canada based on fabricated
evidence and false
affidavits presented by the FBI. The former justice
minister and judge who
allowed the extradition, Warren Allmand, has since said
that he would
never have agreed to the extradition had he known some
affidavits and
evidence presented by the U.S. were false.
In a recent statement of support, Leonard Peltier
himself said, "I fear
that John will not receive a fair trial in the U.S.
anymore than I did. I
must remind you, it is court record that the FBI lied
to extradite me back
to the U.S."
Leonard Peltier's subsequent trial has been widely
recognized as a
travesty of justice, attracting criticism from human
rights organizations
and activists including Amnesty International, Nelson
Mandela and Jesse
For these reasons, and because John Graham is an
indigenous person, Canada
must intervene in this extradition immediately. He must
not be extradited on hearsay alone.
In the wake of Leonard Peltier, we cannot allow the
Canadian government to facilitate - either knowingly or
otherwise -
another human rights tragedy.
If you would like more information about the matter of
John Graham, please
visit the John Graham Defense Committee website at
I look forward to your reply.
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