234 Ford House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-6460
Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
Media Contact: Shelly Han
July 11, 2012


WASHINGTON- The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) announced the following hearing:

"Justice in the International Extradition System: The Case of George Wright and Beyond"

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
2:00 p.m.
Room 2203, Rayburn House Office Building

The Commission will hold a hearing to examine international extradition norms and their impact on U.S. victims of international fugitives.  The hearing will review factors that impede or prevent extradition of criminals to the United States, concerns the United States may have regarding extradition requests from other countries, and how the U.S. might work to advance justice in this process.  As a case study, the Commission will receive testimony regarding George Wright, who was convicted in 1963 of murdering Walter Patterson during an armed robbery-- he is also sought as a prison escapee and for the 1972 hijacking of a passenger jet.  Last year he was located in a village in Portugal, but in November a Portuguese court denied the United States' request to have him extradited. 

The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:
Ann Patterson, daughter of Walter Patterson
R.J. Gallagher, retired FBI Special Agent
Jonathan Winer, Senior Director, APCO Worldwide, Washington, DC, and former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Law Enforcement 
*Other witnesses may be added


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Featured Photo
Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic (C), who serves as Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE in 2015, meeting with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (L) and Helsinki Commission Chairman Chris Smith (R) immediately after the February 25 hearing on Serbia's leadership of the OSCE. (Feb. 2015)