December 8, 2007
Statement by Graham Family
The Canadian Supreme Court of Canada has denied the extradition appeal made by John Graham. On Thursday morning, John was moved from the North Fraser Pre-trial Centre in Port Coquitlam BC, to Rapid City South Dakota, where he has been indicted for first degree murder of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash. Her body was found in 1976, in South Dakota.
On December 1, 2003, John was arrested in Vancouver, for indictments for the first degree murder of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash. In January 2004 he began living under house arrest in Vancouver during his legal struggle against the extradition. In 2005 the BC Supreme court approved John’s extradition to South Dakota, based on positive identification of his photos, despite discrepancies in his height, weight and race. The Canadian/US Extradition Treaty does not challenge the evidence provided by the country seeking extradition. Despite the fact that 3 of the 4 testimonies the US provided proved faulty, this was not taken into consideration by the Canadian court. The fact that the US has no legal jurisdiction over indigenous nations, especially one currently occupied by British Columbia, was never brought up in court.
On June 26 2007, the BC Supreme Court dismissed his appeal and John Graham turned himself in. He was transferred to North Fraser Pretrial, a high security facility where he waited for the appeal decision on the Supreme Court of Canada. We, his family, were granted one hour daily visits separated by glass. While in the pretrial center he was treated as though he’d already been convicted. He was not allowed to receive any books or put up pictures.
We were not contacted when John was transferred from North Fraser Pretrial to the airport and extradited to Rapid City SD. We were lead to believe the John Graham would receive a personal message and be able to set up a visit with the family before extradition. The family was not able to see John before he was taken away. We were not allowed to say our good byes or even give him his personal belongings.
His first court appearance was held December 7, 2007 in Rapid City, South Dakota. John is now being held in the Pennington County Jail, where it will take a week to get settled and have account and phone card to phone his family. John Murphy was the appointed lawyer at the hearing and John Graham pleaded Not Guilty.
The elders of the Yukon are praying for John’s safety, who is treated with respect and a safe return home.
We are in need of financial support to mount a legal defense in South Dakota, and support John and our family so that we can be there for him as much as possible. If you are able to offer donations or other support in Vancouver or Rapid City, please contact us at grahamdefense[at]hotmail[dot]com or www.grahamdefense.org .
Rally for Aboriginal Man Facing Murder Charge
Dec, 09 2007 – 12:30 AM
VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) – Family and supporters turned out in Vancouver on Saturday to rally against the extradition of a 52-year old native man wanted in South Dakota for the murder of a woman more than 30 years ago.
Singing and drumming marked the sombre rally for those who know and love John Graham.
Graham was one of two men charged with the first-degree murder of a fellow Indian Movement activist, Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, on the Pine Ridge Indian reserve in South Dakota in 1975.
Graham’s daughter Naneek tearfully pleaded for justice for her father, “We can’t let this happen again. My dad is innocent…he’s always maintained his innocence.”
Graham was escorted across the Canadian border on Friday and flown to South Dakota where he has been jailed to face trial.
Accused killer extradited to U.S.
Published: Sunday, December 09, 2007
Some 50 family members and friends of accused murderer John Graham protested his extradition to the U.S. yesterday at a rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Graham is charged with the 1975 murder of American Indian Movement activist Anna Pictou Aquash in South Dakota. He was extradited after the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear his appeal of earlier court rulings.
Graham appeared in court Friday in Rapid City, S.D., where he pleaded not guilty.