Kashamu v. Norgle, No. 14-2093 (7th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
In 1998 Kashamu, a dual citizen of Nigeria and Benin, was charged as the leader of a conspiracy to import and distribute heroin. Kashamu never entered the U.S. His location was unknown. The government did not ask that he be tried in absentia. Eleven other defendants pleaded guilty; one was convicted. Months later, Kashamu was arrested in England. There were two unsuccessful extradition proceedings. After the 2003 ruling, Kashamu left England. Six years later, in Chicago district court, he moved to dismiss the indictment based on the English judge's findings, concerning possible confusion between Kashamu and his brother. The Seventh Circuit rejected his arguments. Kashamu remains in Nigeria, a businessman and a ruling party politician. Although there is an extradition treaty, the government has made no effort to extradite him. In 2014 Kashamu sought to dismiss on the grounds that the court has no personal jurisdiction because he has never been in the U.S. and that the Sixth Amendment speedy-trial clause bars prosecution. The Seventh Circuit again disagreed. Even if Kashamu has constitutional rights, they are not violated. The court has no current jurisdiction, but should he come to the U.S., he can be tried. Denial of a motion to dismiss on speedy-trial grounds is a nonappealable interlocutory order; until proceedings are complete, the causes and duration of the delay, the defendant’s responsibility for it, and the harm from the delay, cannot be determined. At any time “he had only to show up” to obtain resolution of his guilt or innocence.