Earlier today, February 9, Justice Catliff of the British Columbia Supreme Court ordered that Renee Boje be surrendered for extradition to the US on all counts. Her charges include possession, production, conspiracy to possess, conspiracy to produce and conspiracy to traffic in marijuana. The US prosecution had asked the judge to set bail at a half million dollars. Boje’s lawyer, John Conroy, appealed the ruling immediately and had Boje out on $5,000 bail later that day.
Justice Catliff’s unusually brief seven-page decision was heavily weighted in favour of the US prosecution. After the trial, Conroy commented on Catliff’s decision, explaining that the judge really had little power to rule in favour of Boje.
“The role of the judge at this stage is really narrow compared to the following stages,” said Conroy.
The next step is for Boje’s case to proceed to the Minister of Justice, Anne McLellan, before it goes on to the Appeal Court of British Columbia. The Justice Minister can release Boje under sections 44 or 46 of the Extradition Act, should the minister be “satisfied that surrender would be unjust or oppressive,” or that “the conduct in respect of which extradition is sought is a political offence or an offence of a political character.”
“I am now in the hands of the public and the Canadian Minister of Justice,” said Boje. “If enough people send in letters of support to the minister before March 10, I have faith that the minister will make a compassionate decision.”
Should Boje be extradited despite attempts to appeal Catliff’s decision, she faces an unusually oppressive sentence.
“The US is still saying that if they get her they will subject her to a minimum ten years,” explained Conroy.
Hilary Black, founder of the Vancouver Compassion Club, was shaken by the ruling.
“Today’s ruling greatly saddens me in the face of all the progress and tolerance today,” said Black. “It is hard to see a wonderful woman like Renee being sent south of the border to rot in a cage while here I am being commended by Provincial Court judges.”
Please help her by writing a letter to the Canadian Minister of Justice. It could be the difference between 10 years in jail or freedom for a dedicated and beautiful spirit. Letter-writing instructions can be found at:
Renee Boje’s e-mail: [email protected]