Re Martorel

JurisdicciónPuerto Rico
Número de expediente186
EmisorTribunal de Distrito (US)
Fecha10 Agosto 1920
United States District Court for Porto Rico.
Case No. 186
In re Martorel (Martorell).

Extradition — Extraditable Crimes — Procedure of Extradition — Construction of Extradition Treaties — Amendment of Request.

The Facts.—This was a petition for habeas corpus by Martorel, a Cuban, held for extradition on request of the Cuban Consul-General under an Extradition Treaty (33 U.S. Stat. L. 2265) and by warrant of the United States Commissioner. The extradition was asked for on the ground that Martorel had committed the crime of “falsification of public documents.” Among the extradition crimes included in the Treaty were forgery, or falsification of official acts or documents of government or public authority; while under another heading were included perjury and subornation of perjury. The Treaty provided that extradition should be in conformity with the laws of the rendering State, The United States statute provided for extradition hearings before a judge or commissioner. (U.S. Comp. Stat. [1918] § 10110; see 9 U.S. Stat. L. 302.) If the judge or commissioner considered the evidence sufficient to sustain the charge, he should give a certificate to that effect, send a copy of the testimony to the Secretary of State, and issue a warrant for commitment to jail of the person charged. Some of the evidence introduced against Martorel was hearsay of a kind allowed in Spanish-Cuban procedure but not at common law, but there was other evidence before the Commissioner. The evidence submitted tended to prove that Martorel had secured a person to give false evidence so as to acquire certain property.

Held: That the prisoner must be kept in custody, pending final order, so that Cuba might issue a new request. The Commissioner could properly hold his hearing before certifying the testimony to the Secretary of State, and the prisoner could be remanded in custody pending such certification. (Grin v. ShineUNK, 187 U.S. 181.) On habeas corpus, the hearing before the Commissioner could only be reviewed to determine whether the crime alleged is within the Treaty and whether the evidence would justify commitment for trial. There was evidence enough before the Commissioner to justify the remand. Although the Spanish terms might be so broad that the offence which the proof tended to show would come under the words translated “falsification of public documents,” it would seem that the offence was rather that of subornation of perjury. Therefore the Cuban officials should have a...

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