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Nov 30, 2015

PM Barrow Says Decision to Grant Fugitive David Nanes Bail Worrisome

The curious tale of international fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer is one of those things that make you go hmmm – repeatedly and very loudly. Wanted by Mexico for fraud to the tune of tens of millions, Nanes was apprehended in San Pedro with the help of US Marshalls. He was found with every form of Belizean ID in existence – from nationality and passport to voter’s ID and boat captain’s license – all obtained fraudulently and under a fake name, David Banes. Quite amazingly, a judge determined that this multi-millionaire fugitive – not a Belizean, but hiding out here under a fake name – was not a flight risk and granted him bail in the sum of ten thousand dollars – on the condition that he surrendered his fraudulently obtained, Belizean passport to the Police. Nanes then promptly disappeared. Prime Minister Dean Barrow told News Five on Saturday that where Nanes is concerned G.O.B. did everything by the book, but he has his own thoughts on the decision to grant bail.

 

Dean Barrow, Prime Minister

Dean Barrow

“I wasn’t here. I knew before I went away that the Mexicans were anxious to get Nanes and we would have loved to simply send him across to Mexico. But we have due process. We have legal requirements that we must follow, and in the course of trying to comply with due process requirements in this country he was taken before the Courts and the Courts gave him bail. I have my own views about whether…I have my own views about the determination of the Courts, but you know in this country we respect Judges, and so that’s what it was.”

 

Reporter

“Will this affect the relationship with Mexico? We have gotten reports that they were after him from May.”

 

Dean Barrow

“We couldn’t find him. Nobody found him. Indeed as I am being informed they sent a request for his extradition. It now turns out that while there is an extradition agreement between Belize and Mexico it was never acted upon, it was never brought into force here in Belize, and so that meant that we couldn’t keep him on the basis of any extradition warrant. The Mexicans are very upset, understandably so, but we have to follow our rules and requirements. We have to follow due process. We have to comply with our laws. I very much regret that we were not able to simply ship him out to the Mexicans, but I do not regret the fact that we chose to follow the law, even at the risk of offending our best neighbour, we chose to be true to our culture, our legal requirements…our democracy.”

 

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