Extradition Lawyers Association

Kim (9 February 2015)

Jae Boong Kim v. Donald Hall, No. 1:13–cv–0002, 2015 WL 556410 (D.N. Mar. Is.)

The Northern Mariana Islands district court denied the motion of a Korean citizen, named in two criminal actions and facing possible extradition to the Republic of Korea, for release from custody pending appeal, finding that he failed to show he was a low flight risk and that special circumstances warranted release. Jae Boong Kim (“Kim”) was arrested on May 17th, 2013 on a fugitive warrant to face possible extradition to the Republic of Korea (“Korea”) in two criminal actions. After being found extraditable, Kim moved for a stay of extradition pending appeal. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted the motion, and then left to the lower court Kim’s request for release pending appeal. The district court held that the presumption against bail in an extradition case requires a finding of a low flight risk and special circumstances, neither of which were present here. The court found Kim’s flight risk “unacceptably high” because he had significant financial resources and his family does not have assets tying them to the local community. The Court also found that special circumstances calling for release did not exist. First, the court, which had familiarity with the factual background and legal issues raised in the habeas appeal, found that the prospects of success on the merits are not great. Second, the court found that the time it took to resolve the extradition and habeas proceedings was not of an unusual length. Third, the court rejected Kim’s argument that having to defend two extradition cases simultaneously bore on whether he should be released pending appeal