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Nov 22, 2011

Will Rhett Fuller be extradited?

Rhett Fuller

Inside the Courtroom of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Lungole Awich, family members, including Ann Marie, the wife of Rhett Fuller, waited tensely for what appeared to be the last chance for freedom for the wanted man. There have been hearings as far as the Privy Council and more recently before the Foreign Minister, to stop an extradition request by the US government. But those ended in bad news for Fuller who seemed one step further away from his three children and one step closer to extradition. The US wants Fuller’s extradition in relation to a murder that took place in Florida in 1990. Fuller’s attorney Eamon Courtenay, who wasn’t in court today, challenged the September twentieth decision made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington to surrender Fuller to the United States authorities. Late this evening, Awich told the court that the claimant did not prove its case and Fuller was sent back to prison. So what’s the next step? Attorney Godfrey Smith told the media after Awich’s decision late this evening.

Godfrey Smith, Attorney for Rhett Fuller

“This is Mr. Eamon Courtenay’s client and I am substituting and holding papers for Mister Courtenay who is out of the country. As you are aware Mr. Justice Awich did not grant the application for judicial review to quash the minister’s decision. However, as you are also aware we made an application to him that he stay, restrain the minister or put a stay on the decision of the minister to surrender Mr. Fuller to United States authorities until after the hearing of his appeal to the Court of Appeal. We informed the court that Mr. Fuller had already instructed his attorneys that in the event that the decision went against him, he would want an appeal filed as quickly as possible. So we have the instructions or really Mister Courtenay will have his instructions to file an appeal as soon as possible. When the liberty of a Belizean is at stake you are entitled to exhaust all your remedies. We are firmly of the view that notwithstanding the Privy Council judgment, the discretion given to the minister—is a much wider thing and we believe that he did not exercise his discretion reasonably and with due regards to the evidence. So that will be advanced before the Court of Appeal.”

Jules Vasquez, 7News

Godfrey Smith

“From a mechanical perspective, how will it work with Court of Appeal? They are not in session and they can’t be until next year early.”

Godfrey Smith

“Well again that is a matter for Mr. Courtenay. As you rightly said, the Court of Appeal will come March and he will have to consider whether he will apply for some type of specials sitting, but I don’t think that will be applicable in this case. So as matters stand, Mr. Fuller will be filing an appeal and until that is determined, he remains in Belize and will not be handed over to United States authorities until the conclusion and determination of his appeal.”

Jules Vasquez

“Is this the very final option that is now being sought?”

Godfrey Smith

“I would not think so. The final, final option is an appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice, but always one would have to—if the decision goes against him again—the matter of restraining or staying his extradition is a discretionary matter which is for the court to decide. So one step at a time; one step at a time.”

As Smith indicated, Fuller’s main attorney Eamon Courtenay will have to file motions to the Appeals Court. Fuller will also have to pay cost of court for this latest round of litigation and since the Judge allowed a stay, Fuller will remain at the Central Prison.

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8 Responses for “Will Rhett Fuller be extradited?”

  1. Concerned says:

    Seriously, is this news or is this abuse of Court? If Mr. Fuller believes he is innocent he ought to face the charges in the Court where he was demmed to have committed a wrong. This endless charade of dragging back the matter through the Court is not the way to profess innocence. We are treating Mr. Fuller as though he is now a celebrity. No wonder not even the Government respect the Courts as in the BTL matter. The Courts have ruled over and over that Mr. Fuller ought to be extradited. If he is innocent he will shown to be so and he will get to come home to his wife and three kids. Please let’s focus our efforts on real issues. Rhett Fuller cannot be headline news when we have endless crime and poverty in our society.

  2. Storm says:

    Good lesson for young Belizeans: DON’T DO THE CRIME IF YOU CAN’T DO THE TIME.

    Fuller should just man up and go face his trial. The justice system in the States is pretty honest, and their prisons are survivable.

  3. Earl Grey says:

    How do I GET THE DETAILS ON THIS CASE….what happened in America???

  4. Swamp Dragon says:

    Living in FLorida, I know they do not go after criminals like this unless they have some damning evidence. Mr. Fuller must have some deep dark secrets to be sought after like this.

  5. butch says:

    im indefferent towards his plight.back in the day i often wondered how these fellas could afford some of the things they had.the proof of the pie is in the eating!!!

  6. MACAL RIVERA says:

    I SAY GIVE THE MAN ANOTHER CHANCE!!! HOW DO WE KNOW WHY HE KILLED?
    BESIDE I THINK HE IS REALLY SORRY FOR HIS ACTIONS, AND I THINK THAT HE HAS BEEN PUNISHED ENOUGH, MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY HE IS DRAIN. ISN’T THAT ENOUGH PUNISHMENT?????
    I JUST HOPE HE LEARN A LESSON AND FOR OTHERS TO REALIZE THAT FREEDOM IS A PRECIOUS GIFT WE CAN GIVE ONLY TO OUR SELVES.

  7. David says:

    If Rhett believes he is innocent he ought to face the music. Why go through all this if he is innocent. He is hiding something and we are all being dragged along for a long ride. If you commit a crime no matter where justice must prevail.

  8. Read the Bible says:

    Macal Rivera,

    Are you serious? The man is accused of a serious crime, he needs to stop running and face the justice system. It is people like you that foster ignorance and allow situations like this continue. Get a grip my brother, do you think the family of the victim is chilling thinking he is sorry and he should be set free. Stop being the token dumb @$$, you shame your fellow Belizeans at home and abroad.

    The Real Deal!

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