Georgia to keep British fugitive behind bars for 3 months


TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — A court in the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia on Friday ruled that a fugitive British man should stay behind bars for three months pending possible extradition.

Jack Shepherd vanished while on bail over the manslaughter of 24-year-old Charlotte Brown, who died when Shepherd’s speedboat hit a log and flipped on the River Thames in London in December 2015. The pair, who met on a dating website, had spent the evening at a restaurant before taking to the river.

The 31-year-old Shepherd was tried in his absence and sentenced in July to a six-year prison term for gross negligence manslaughter. The web designer showed up at a police station in Tbilisi, Georgia, earlier this month and turned himself in.

The victim’s family and politicians including Prime Minister Theresa May had called on Shepherd to hand himself in. Britain has requested Shepherd’s extradition.

Speaking from the enclosed glass dock, Shepherd said he wishes he could speak to Brown’s family.

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“Not a single day passes when I don’t think about the loss of Charlotte’s life and what effect it had on her family,” he said. “I wish I’d sat down with Charlotte’s family and explained.”

Shepherd’s lawyer told reporters after the hearing that his client has not contested his arrest because he has decided to cooperate with authorities and “prove he is innocent.”

“We know that the appeal court of the United Kingdom is studying his case now and they have not made a decision yet,” Tariel Kakabadze said in English. “He is sure that he has not committed any crime and we have hope that final decisions will be in his favor.”

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