Collateral estoppel; extraditions
The findings of a foreign court in an extradition proceeding do not have a collateral estoppel effect in American criminal courts.
“Our government had not presented enough evidence to convince the English magistrate that Kashamu was Alaji, but Kashamu had not presented enough evidence to convince the magistrate that he was not Alaji. The only findings that the magistrate made that could possibly be entitled to collateral estoppel effect in a trial of Kashamu for participation in the drug conspiracy were that Kashamu had a brother who bore a striking resemblance to him, the brother was a member of the conspiracy that the government thinks was led by Kashamu, Kashamu had given information about the conspiracy to Interpol and Nigerian law enforcers, and contrary to what our government believed the brother had not died in 1989. These findings if admissible would bolster his defense but would not require an acquittal, and thus would not require the dismissal of the indictment. A reasonable jury might find that Kashamu had exploited the resemblance to his brother to create doubt about his (Kashamu’s) being Alaji; that the brother was another conspirator but Kashamu was the leader; that maybe both were the leaders, like Roman Consuls; that maybe the brother was sole leader but Kashamu was a follower like the other defendants; and that Kashamu had given information to Interpol and the Nigerian authorities to throw them off the scent (it was not disclosed in the extradition hearing whether this information assisted the U.S. government’s investigation that culminated in the indictment). In light of these possibilities the magistrate was quite right not to find that Kashamu wasn’t Alaji.”
10-2782 U.S. v. Kashamu
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Norgle, J., Posner, J.