Appeals Court upholds extradition in Aquash murder 6-26-07

Vancouver, British Columbia (ICC) - The British Columbia Supreme Court rendered its final decision on the appeal of John Boy Patton Graham the morning of June 26th, turning down a request by Graham not to be sent back to the United States to be tried on a 1st degree murder charge in the execution of Annie Mae Pictou-Aquash.

John Graham (APTN Photo)

U.S prosecutors and former members of the American Indian Movement contend Aquash was executed upon the orders of the highest ranking leaders within AIM because they feared Aquash was providing information to the FBI. Under continued scrutiny and investigation are the roles that Dennis Banks, Vernon and Clyde Bellecourt and Russell Means played in the final days of Aquash's life.

A lower level provincial extradition court has already upheld the extradition order, as did the Canadian Justice Minister who turned away a political appeal by Graham to remain in Canada. Graham has one more chance of appealing the extradition order to the Canadian Supreme Court on constitutional grounds.

A trial in 2004 convicted an accomplice of Graham's. Pine Ridge Lakota and former AIM member Arlo Looking Cloud's trial was the first conviction in the 32 year old murder case. Looking Cloud was sentenced to life in prison and appeals he made have been turned away as well.

Looking Cloud
Arlo Looking Cloud

Graham has been charged in the United States with killing Annie Mae Pictou Aquash on or around December 11, 1975. Looking Cloud was convicted in Rapid City, South Dakota with aiding and abetting in her 1st Degree Murder.

Ironically, the date of the decision upholding Graham's extradition comes 32 years from the date two FBI agents were shot and killed in 1975 on the Jumping Bull Compound on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Graham has tried to portray himself as a modern day Leonard Peltier, claiming he is innocent of killing Annie Mae Aquash, in a similar fashion that Peltier claims he is innocent of killing the two FBI agents.

Graham has claimed that his prosecution is based on his close affiliation to Peltier and Aquash following the shooting on June 26, 1975 during which all three AIM fugitives fled underground together.

During Looking Cloud's 2004 trial, testimony by KaMook Nichols , the former wife of Dennis Banks indicated that Peltier had bragged to her, Annie Mae Aquash and others about shooting the agents.





To learn more checkout: