Dicks to Fight Extradition

8 September 2006

Sportingbet's non-executive chairman, who was arrested late Wednesday night at JFK International Airport, was arraigned Thursday night at a state court in Kew Gardens, Queens, New York.

Peter Dicks appeared before Judge Robert Raciti just before midnight on Thursday and was served with a warrant for extradition to Louisiana, where an investigation into illegal Internet gambling has been underway since January.

Dicks refused his right to waive extradition and is now being held in a New York jail. Raciti scheduled a separate extradition hearing for Sept. 14, said Kevin Ryan, a spokesman for the Queens County District Attorney's office.

Dicks' attorney, Peter Neiman, is fighting extradition and immediately filed a writ of habeas corpus and asked for a $50,000 bail on the grounds that Dicks was not physically present at the time of the alleged offense. Raciti said he could not grant bail because Dicks was a fugitive.

Today, however, Dicks appeared before Judge John Latella in the Queens County Supreme Court, who granted the habeas corpus and set bail at the requested amount. He also revoked Dicks' passport and ordered him to remain in the five boroughs of New York City and Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York.

Sportingbet's board of directors said today in a prepared statement that the company has not been contacted by any U.S. authority regarding the arrest or any related matter. The board also expressed that the company will continue business as usual.

A British Embassy spokesperson also released a statement today regarding the matter.

"We are aware of the arrest on the fifth of September on an outstanding warrant from Louisiana," the spokesperson said. "Appropriate consular assistance has been offered."

Dicks was in New York on Wednesday to attend a board meeting of publicly traded U.S. company Standard Microsystems Corp., located in Hauppauge, New York.