Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Free Leonard Peltier -- One More Reason Why: Illegal Canadian Extradition

Mr. Leonard Peltier was arrested in Canada on February 6,1976. He was extradited from Canada in December of the same year on the basis of an affidavit signed by Myrtle Poor Bear (above), a Native American woman known to have serious mental health problems. 
Poor Bear claimed to have been Leonard Peltier’s girlfriend at the time of the shootings, and to have been present during the shoot-out and witnessed the killings.
Leonard Peltier was extradited from Canada to the United States. 
Today, the government concedes that, in fact, Myrtle Poor Bear did not know Leonard Peltier, nor was she present at the time of the shooting. She later confessed she had given false statements after being pressured and terrorized by FBI agents. Myrtle Poor Bear sought to testify in this regard at Leonard Peltier’s trial. However, the judge barred her testimony on the grounds of mental incompetence. 
In addition to being a violation of Leonard Peltier's rights, the United States government committed fraud on the court during the extradition proceedings and violated the sovereignty of Canada. The U.S. government has made no attempt to correct this wrong and, to date, the illegal extradition has not been corrected by the Canadian Court.

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