You know it’s bad when a significant court of one of your most loyal foreign allies issues a major slapdown.
David Sirota of Salon (hat tip reader Marshall Auerback) reports on a stunning case (and yours truly is not easily stunned) and serves to reveal the depth of corpocracy in the United States.
The very short form of this story is that Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled that Cisco and US police and prosecutors engaged in a “massive abuse of process” to have a former executive who had filed an anti-trust suit against Cisco imprisoned.
Sirota gives a stinging write up, and if anything, the Vancouver Sun, which broke the story, is even more incendiary, reflecting the blistering tone of the court’s opinion.
First, the high points courtesy the Sun:
In a rare move, [Justice Robert]McKinnon stayed extradition proceedings against Peter Adekeye, a British computer entrepreneur who once worked for Cisco Systems, Inc.
The judge said U.S. prosecutors acted outrageously by having the respected executive bizarrely arrested in Vancouver on May 20, 2010 as he testified before a sitting of the American court he was accused of avoiding.
He called Adekeye’s ordeal something out of a novel by Joseph Heller, the author of Catch-22.
The RCMP took Adekeye into custody as he was testifying before a special U.S. hearing at the Wedgewood Hotel about the very case that supposedly required his urgent extradition.
Adekeye was perp-walked through the hotel lobby to a waiting police wagon.
“This speaks volumes for Cisco’s duplicity,” the judge said, adding the company had “the unmitigated gall” to try to use the criminal process to humiliate and force Adekeye to abandon a civil suit.
Adekeye was held in custody for 28 days and forced to remain in Canada until this week under strict bail conditions because of the false and misleading material from the U.S., McKinnon said.
Canadian Justice Department lawyer Diba Majzub argued that it didn’t matter U.S. prosecutors falsely portrayed Adekeye as a Nigerian scofflaw who was a flight risk.
He filed three thick volumes of legal precedent and emphasized that only five times since the current Extradition Act was enacted in 1999 has a judge sought to stay proceedings because of abuse of process.
A stay required extraordinary misconduct, he said.
Justice McKinnon thought this case met the test and was flabbergasted by Adekeye’s “shocking” arrest during a judicial proceeding: “It is simply not done in a civilized jurisdiction that is bound by the rule of law.”
The Sun also reported that Adekeye’s attorney said that “Almost nothing in the U.S. attorney’s letter was true.” Sounds an awful lot like what happens in some foreclosure proceedings, except here the stakes were vastly higher.
Sirota summarized the backstory:
Ex-Cisco exec Peter Alfred-Adekeye filed a whistle-blower suit against his former employer Cisco in civil court — a suit that could compel the company to pay millions in damages for allegedly “forcing customers to buy maintenance contracts,” according to the Vancouver Sun.
Cisco subsequently responded with two moves designed to intimidate Adekeye: First, the company filed a counter civil suit against him for allegedly “using a former colleague’s computer code to illicitly access Cisco services worth ‘more than $14,000.'” Then, the corporation had its allies in U.S. law enforcement cite the civil counter-suit to issue a whopping 97 criminal charges against Adekeye. In other words, instead of following Adekeye’s civil case with criminal antitrust charges against Cisco, U.S. authorities were convinced by the corporation to add criminal charges to Cisco’s counter civil suit against Adekeye (this move to add state-sanctioned criminal prosecution to a corporation’s civil action, of course, is a textbook definition of a Corporate Police State).
Ultimately, U.S. authorities demanded the Canadian government extradite Adekeye for prosecution, and Canadian officials proceeded to follow U.S. orders by arresting and detaining him.
It gets even weirder after that. Adekeye had been denied entry to the US since 2008 when he tried to participate in hearings on his case (ahem, you can already see the heavy hand of Cisco in government conduct). He then attended a special Canadian session so he could testify in Cisco’s civil suit against him. He then became the target of an extradition suit by the US. Sirota notes (emphasis his):
Indeed, as if to underscore the bizarre nature of the U.S. government’s change of posture, U.S. authorities actually had Adekeye arrested on extradition charges right as he was testifying before the special session of the U.S. court in Vancouver (he was actually perp-walked out of the hearing).
The Sun points out:
The entire incident was a planned and deliberate act by Cisco, which prevailed on U.S. prosecutors to “grotesquely inflate” a minor civil complaint into a criminal charge requiring 500 years imprisonment.
Now in case you wonder whether the charges by Cisco against Adekeye have merit, Cisco has dropped its counterclaim. , which led Justice McKennon to question how a criminal charge now could be proven when Cisco, the supposed victim, says it didn’t suffer any loss.” Furthermore, Sirota tells us that the IDG News Service has said that the US prosecutors have failed to present the evidence required to extradite Adekeye.
This looks like a tissue of sheer fabrication dumped in a Canadian court, with US officials confident no one would question their lies given the high bar in Canada for denying an extradition request. It show the gall and arrogance of the US police state, and mercifully, the Canadian courts were unwilling to accede when the evidence of abuse of process was presented to them.