Dr. York’s U.S. Attorney Requests Liberia’s Response to U.S. Gov’t on Client’s citizenship, Others

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USA – Dr. Malachi Z.K. York’s attorney based and practicing in the United States of America, Victoria Broussard, has called on the Liberian government to respond to the U.S. Embassy near Monrovia, preferably in the contrary that Dr. York cannot be repatriated or deported to Liberia because he is a U.S. citizen.

In a diplomatic note dated May 8, 2007 and addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the U.S. Embassy conveyed that “the Department of State has consulted with the Bureau of Prisons and with the Department of Justice and advises the Government of Liberia that deportation of Mr. York to Liberia is not possible.”

The U.S. Embassy’s note which is in the possession of the Daily Observer states “After a three-week jury trial in 2004, Mr. York was convicted on eleven charges of, among other things, transporting minors for purpose of engaging in unlawful sexual activity and structuring cash transactions to avoid federal reporting requirements.”

The note which is also a reply to the Liberian government’s diplomatic note RL/MFA/3066/2-5/06 dated October 24, 2005 requesting repatriation or deportation of Dr. York to Liberia said nothing can be done unless Dr. York completes his sentence.

Broussard, has however, disagreed with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and the State Department and questions the validity of the US Embassy’s Diplomatic Note due to the fact there is no signature or initials, by outlining that Dr. York has fully complied with Title 8 of the U.S. Code 1481 – loss of nationality by native-born or naturalized citizen, which in pertinent part states that “A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application or upon an application filed by a duly authorized agent, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, among others, after having attained the age of eighteen years.”

“The United States Bureau of Prison continues to torture my client by refusing him with the needed medication and proper standard of care to treat his life threatening, unpredictable condition, Angioedema, violating his human rights daily, tampering with his legal mail, and alienating him from his family,” she noted in her request note to the government of Liberia and forwarded same to the U.S. Justice system.

Further citing loss of U.S. citizenship’s procedures, Broussard said Dr. York, in 1999 duly accepted and served, until his arrest in 2002, the post of consular general from the Liberian government in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

“Dr. Malachi York has shown by a preponderance of evidence that he successfully and voluntarily surrendered his citizenship to the United States” Broussard said.

According to her, Article 15 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights to which the United States is a signatory allows Dr. York the right to choose which country becomes his home of nationality at any time, more having surpassed even the age of eighteen.

In Liberian law if a child is born to a foreigner but in Liberia, at the age of 18 he or she is able to make a decision of being Liberian and as further provided for by the same law, the declaratory judgment handed down by Yusuf Kaba (then judge of the 6th Judicial Circuit Court) says Dr. York duly acquired Liberian citizenship in 1999 by naturalization and was appointed and given the status of a Diplomatic Agent when former and jailed President Charles Ghankay Taylor was still at the helm of power.

The U.S. Embassy’s diplomatic note #:052/07 further has in it that Dr. York was sentenced to 1,620 months or 135 years and that his sentence has been upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

“Mr. York’s petition requesting that the U.S. Supreme Court hear the case was denied on June 26, 2006. Mr. York is currently housed at the United States of America Penitentiary in Florence, Colorado. His sentence is expected to be completed in December 2119,” the note said, adding “Mr. York is a citizen of the United States of America and as a citizen of the U.S. his sentence must be served in the United States of America.”

Attorney Broussard emphasized in her communication that Liberian government’s reengagement of the case is important for the process to move swiftly so as to protect the well-being and health of her client, Dr. York. She maintains that Dr. York is innocent and entitled to all immunities within the Vienna Convention which forbids all nations, including the U.S. from arresting and imprisoning diplomats.

Relying on the declaratory judgment of July 21, 2004 by Yusuff Kaba in Liberia that confirmed his status as a Naturalized Citizen and Diplomatic Agent, and a host of others findings, including “mistreatment of prisoners at Florence ADMAX cell, she said no time may be better than now to save Dr. York’s life.”

Broussard is requesting the Liberian Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue to the United States Department a “Request for Repatriation of Dr. Malachi York” as such instrument will certainly effectuate the process for the removal of her client from the U.S. prison she claims is wrongfully housing him.

According to the Marshall Project “In 2012 a class action suit was filed against the Florence ADMAX Prison and in that case the U.S. District Judge, Richard Matsch refused a request by federal lawyers to dismiss.  This ended up being one of the most significant victories in the history of litigation against the Bureau of Prisons.”

The Marshall Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. It achieves this through award-winning journalism, partnerships with other news outlets and public forums. In their all of their work they strive to educate and enlarge the audience of people who care about the state of criminal justice in the U.S.

While the Liberian government is expected to respond to the U.S. government’s diplomatic note, Attorney Brousard has planned to visit Liberia with her team soon in order to assist the Garlawulo Law Firm in their efforts to ensure that Dr. York is repatriated.

It may be recalled that Dr. York’s Liberian Attorney, Cllr. Francis Garlawulo was laid to rest in Bong County on May 26, 2018 after suffering a protracted illness for about eight years. The Garlawulo Law Firm, however, has vowed to continue pursuing to a logical conclusion Dr. York’s case hence it was begun by its original founder (Cllr. Garlawulo).

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