The crimes that Colton Harris-Moore allegedly committed in The Bahamas, the United States of America and Canada are not frivolous matters. They are serious in nature and have taxed the human and other resources of various law enforcement agencies in several jurisdictions.
In no way should Harris-Moore’s alleged criminal behaviour be minimized. The Government of The Bahamas and the vast majority of Bahamians take with the utmost seriousness the breaching of our laws by Bahamians as well as non-Bahamians.
Harris-Moore’s alleged crimes must be treated with the seriousness they deserve. It was therefore decided to act in a manner which ensures that Harris-Moore’s alleged crimes are dealt with in a firm manner.
It is not uncommon where an individual is alleged to have committed a series of crimes over multiple jurisdictions, for the jurisdiction where the lesser of the alleged crimes occurred (while acting in an appropriate way to condemn the breach of its laws) to allow the other jurisdiction where the greater of the offences allegedly took place to proceed with its charges by sending the individual to that jurisdiction.
Consistent with this, Harris-Moore was convicted in a Bahamian court of law for a criminal offence. He was subsequently deported. He now faces substantially more charges in the US than he would have faced in The Bahamas.
It is to be noted that The Bahamas has often been afforded reciprocal treatment in requesting the return to this country from the United States of America, individuals who may have committed more serious and more numerous crimes here than in the United States.
To reiterate, in the case of Harris-Moore, The Bahamas granted various U.S. authorities the same consideration which they have extended to us on various occasions.
The Government of The Bahamas acknowledges the diligent work done by the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the attorneys of the Office of the Attorney General and other Government agencies to bring this matter to a safe and swift conclusion. The Government also wishes to thank those many concerned citizens who assisted law enforcement in bringing this matter to a close.
The Bahamian people are justifiably proud of their fellow citizens as well as public officers who concluded in an orderly, transparent and fair manner a case which highlights the finest attributes of our citizenry, the criminal justice system and the rule of law.