Alleged Silk Road Admin Plans to Take Case to the Supreme Court
The alleged admin behind the Silk Road forums, Gary Davis, planned another appeal, so to speak, of his Court ordered extradition. John B Peart, Davis’s chief council confirmed that the defense moved to reach the Supreme Court before a small window of time on Irish ground passed. Davis fought the US extradition order since his 2014 arrest on the basis that US prisons poorly treated those with Asperger’s syndrome—a disorder Gary suffered strongly from, his defense argued.
The United States indicted Davis in 2014 after the crumbling of the notorious darknet marketplace called the Silk Road. The FBI indicted three admins of the Silk Road: Peter Nash aka SSBD and Andrew Jones aka Inigo, and Gary Davis aka Libertas, if found guilty by a US court. Peter Nash willfully faced the extradition from Australia and Andrew Jones lived in the US.
Following every court date, Davis received a short window of time where his defense drafted a new appeal. The process repeated itself. Finally, in early 2017, a three-judge panel at the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal order in a final hearing. They ordered his extradition, dismissed his appeal, and incarcerated him on the spot.
Counsel for Mr. Davis, John O’Kelly SC, confirmed with the Court of Appeal that the Court instituted a 15-day seal of stay—the standard period of time where authorities are prevented from extraditing a defendant. O’Kelly told the court that Davis heard otherwise. Or that Davis received word that authorities planned on an early surrender. Mr. Justice George Birmingham denied any early extradition and reiterated that the Court held Davis for 15 days following any judgement.
John B. Peart, senior defense counsel, told Mr. Justice George Birmingham that the defense hoped the Court finalised the order within a short period of time; he said the defense planned to “get to the Supreme Court” within 15 days off the Court of Appeal’s judgement.
Mr. Justice Alan Mahon encouraged the Court of Appeal to come to a different conclusion than his own. According to thejournal.ie, the Judge said “It is hoped that the extent to which the issues relating to Davis’ diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome had been debated and considered in these proceedings, and the assurances provided by the US authorities will reduce these concerns to an appreciable degree.” (link)
Mr. Justice Mahon added:
“I wish to emphasize that I in no way seek to diminish or trivialize the very real concerns and worries of the appellant and his family as he faces the prospect of extradition to the United States and being imprisoned there. Such a prospect would be daunting for an individual in robust mental health let alone someone coping with a significant mental health condition”
Mr. Justice George Birmingham told Peart that the Court of Appeal agreed with Mr. Justice Mahon’s prior decision.
There is no right to the Supreme Court, many Irish newspapers explained.
Update from Saturday, March 11, 2017:
Although the conditions of extradition allow a defendant 15 days to appeal a decision, US Marshals showed up ahead of schedule to pick up Davis.
The justice minister, Frances Fitzgerald refused to comment on the matter. However, a spokesperson said that “Countries outside the European Union may make a request through diplomatic channels for extradition to seek the return of a person who is wanted in one of those countries in relation to a crime.”
As mentioned before, Davis received word that the US planned to pick him before the 15 day period expired. Justice George Birmingham assured Davis’s defense counsel that Davis had 15 days. Davis planned to reach the Supreme Court in those 15 days.
Lana Doherty, Davis’s solicitor, said she received no mention of any date change. According to The Times, Doherty said “I had to ring his parents and say ‘go and see your son because he’ll be gone tomorrow.’ Two marshals flew into Dublin and their return flight for three was booked for Thursday. I had notified the chief state solicitor that I am the point of contact but I didn’t hear anything and his family didn’t hear anything.”
Gary Davis never mentioned how he planned to plead in the US.