Monday, July 22, 2013

Brian Wainstein Fighting Extradition to the United States

The man dubbed the “steroid king” is fighting to stay out of jail pending a decision by the minister of justice to deport him to the US where he is wanted for allegedly dealing in steroids worth R76 million. Brian Wainstein’s extradition inquiry was heard in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. It is alleged that Wainstein, 48, who is wanted by Interpol, smuggled steroids worth about R76m for more than a decade. He had been living in Cape Town for months but was arrested after an altercation with a neighbor at his luxury flat at the V&A Waterfront on January 19. When he appeared in court two days later, he was granted bail of R500 000 on condition that he hand his passport to police, and report to the Sea Point police station every day. This was later relaxed to twice a week. According to the charge sheet, a warrant for his arrest was issued by the District of Tennessee in the US. South Africa and the US have an extradition treaty. On Thursday, Anton Katz SC, for Wainstein, opposed the extradition inquiry, saying Dave Damerell, for the State, had to prove each aspect presented to the court. “There is a man whose liberty is at stake and a State who wants to take it. They must prove it (the documents),” Katz said. “Accuracy and attention to detail is important regarding the documents and evidence relied upon.” Katz argued that the documents which formed part of the extradition request were not authentic and therefore could not form part of the evidence before magistrate Caron Lehman. He called on her to rule that the documents were inadmissible. But Damerell said assistant US attorney Brent Hannafin had made an affidavit and confirmed under oath that the documents were genuine. A US clerk attested that the documents were genuine and US special agent Alex Davis had also made an affidavit. “Davis’s affidavit is also made under oath. So you have affidavits and supporting documents,” Damerell said.

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