Rickford Burke could face extradition soon – AG
Several months after two wanted bulletins were issued for overseas-based Guyanese and political activist Rickford Burke, authorities in Guyana expect that he will be extradited soon.
During an interview with the News Room on Monday, Attorney General Anil Nandlall said Guyanese authorities have engaged US law enforcement agencies to ensure that persons are brought to justice for criminal offenses in Guyana.
As such, it is expected that Burke will soon have to come back to Guyana to answer to possible charges in relation to extortion, sedition and inciting public terror.
“The Police have issued two wanted bulletins for him and they have listed the offences for which he is wanted, and we have assumed a lot of engagements with the US law enforcement agencies in relation to the criminal justice system and bringing people to justice in both countries,” the AG said.
He also noted that while no date has been set for Burke to be extradited to Guyana, it is highly expected soon.
Burke is wanted by the Police for charges which include “conspiracy to commit a felony to wit publication of defamatory libel in order to extort money.”
Burke was implicated by two reporters – Gary Eleazar and Alex Wayne – who were charged and released on bail in September, 2022. They were arrested during a sting operation.
Burke’s last known addresses are Brooklyn, New York and Bartica, Guyana.
At the weekend, the AG issued a press release on behalf of the Government of Guyana rejecting information that was documented in a post on a Facebook page headed by Burke, styled as a travel advisory against Guyana.
Nandlall on Monday said Burke is trying to fabricate a story that there is a vendetta against him in Guyana when that is not the case.
“Guyana is a society governed by the rule of law and those who decide to flout the rule of law will have to face the consequences of their actions.
“The Police Force will continue with their efforts and eventually, he will have to return here,” Nandlall said.
The press release further stated that Burke is wanted for:
- The excitement of hostility or ill-will on the grounds of race under
the Racial Hostility Act. [Any person who willfully excites or attempts to
excite racial hostility against a particular race by means of words spoken in a
public place or transmitted by telegraphy].
- Sedition under s.18 (1) (a) and (f) of the Cyber Crime Act. [The offence is
made out if it’s against the government s. 18(1)(a) and if it excites racial
- Use of a computer system to coerce and intimidate under s.19 (3) of the
Cyber Crime Act [makes it an offence to disseminate information via
computer which is known to be false to damage the reputation of another
- Seditious Libel at Common Law. [It is the overt speech or conduct to bring
hatred and contempt against the Government].
- Seditious Libel under S.320 of the Criminal Law Offences Act, Cap. 8:01.
- Inciting the provocation of a breach of the peace under s.141 of the
Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act, Cap 8:02.
- Inciting public terror under s.137 of the Criminal Law Offences Act, Cap.
8:01. [The incitement of persons to go to public places and behave a certain
way could be incitement to cause public terror].