BARBADIAN broadcaster Linda Walrond (57) is not off the hook. The clock is still ticking on Walrond, who United States (US) law enforcers indicted, along with 18 others nearly a year ago, for allegedly being involved in a $13 million internet piracy ring.
However, while the charges and an arrest warrant in the US still hang over the head of the Barbadian, American prosecutors are playing very close to their chests.
Additionally, yesterday Attorney General Dale Marshall said there was no truth to a rumour that the US Department of Justice had contacted his office to initiate extradition proceedings against the former radio programme manager of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation.
It was in early February last year when US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick J. Fitzgerald, and Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Robert D. Grant, announced Walrond and 19 others were indicted on federal charges for pirating copyrighted computer software, games, and movies through non-public Internet sites.
Since then most of the accused have been had hearings in the US District Court in Chicago, but the Barbadian and the suspected Australian ring leader Sean O’toole (26) have not.
Pravin Rao, the Assistant US Attorney prosecuting the case, told the Barbados Advocate there was still a warrant for Walrond and that other accused were scheduled to make court appearances later this month.
He said, however, no contact had been made with her.
“There is no new information to report regarding Walrond and O’toole. A number of the defendants in this case have pled guilty and there is a status before the Judge on January 24th for the remaining few,” Rao said.
The Attorney General said up to yesterday there were efforts via Government to pursue Walrond, but he said any such undertaking would not be secret.
“If an extradition proceeding is to be done it is something that will be done publicly through the courts. You don’t do extraditions in secret, so there is no sense in which anything like that could be done surreptitiously. You would have seen extradition hearings happening in the courts before so there is no reason to think that anything other than that would happen,” he said.
Barbados Advocate, http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/NewViewNewsleft.cfm?Record=29446