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Jul 12, 2013

Will Deon Bruce be extradited without a hearing?

Deon Bruce

On Thursday afternoon, sometime around three o’clock, twenty-eight-year-old Deon Bruce was arrested by personnel from the Anti-Drug Unit before being escorted to the Queen Street Police Station, where he was held pending extradition to the United States.  Bruce is wanted in Chicago on a slew of charges, including murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm.  His apprehension and subsequent refusal to inform his family about the situation, as well as the denial of his right to speak with an attorney, raised concerns that Bruce would be whisked off to face indictment in the US without first exercising his right to a hearing in the local courts.  Despite the presence of three attorneys, Bruce was prevented from expressing whether he wished to stand trial in Belize or waive his right altogether and be handed over to federal agents.  This morning, attorney Bryan Neal filed a writ before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, ordering Deon Bruce to appear in court for a decision on whether his detention is lawful.  An order for a warrant for his apprehension was signed on July second by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Magali Perdomo is appearing on behalf of the Belize and U.S. governments.

 

Bryan Neal, Attorney for Deon Bruce

“He was brought before the courts this morning on an apprehension warrant and we are to return to court on August first, to receive the extradition bundle, the documents that allege the crimes that he committed.  So far, we are told that he is wanted for a murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery and possession of a firearm, amongst other charges.  There were five or six charges that I read in the apprehension warrant.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What transpired yesterday evening with regards to the fact that he wasn’t allowed to either see his family or to speak with an attorney at the Queen Street Police Station?”

 

Bryan Neal

Bryan Neal

“Well we were quite appalled last night.  Mr. Peyrefitte, Mr. Karim Musa and I were called to the police station, we went there and we were told that we could not see him on the orders of people much higher.  But once a phone call was made and the interview was played on Channel Five, I think the powers that be came to their senses and we were granted access to him sometime last night.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What does it look like going forward, in terms of what is being presented and the way this situation is being handled?”

 

Bryan Neal

“Well there are some serious charges but at first brush, when I looked at the warrant of apprehension I saw that it alleged that Mr. Bruce was born in the Cayman Islands and Mr. Bruce was born in Belize and has always lived in Belize.  So that there’s an issue as to whether the person that they have apprehended, Mr. Bruce, is really the person that they are claiming that they want extradited.  So, identification will be a live issue in this matter and we will raise whatever issue we have.  But for now, until we get the bundle, we cannot definitively say what issues will be raised.”

 

The extradition proceeding involving Bruce has been adjourned to August first, when it is expected that Perdomo would have confirmed his date and place of birth. In a statement this evening in respect of a report by attorney Michael Peyrefitte that the GSU had prevented him from meeting Bruce, the GSU’s Marco Vidal says that his unit was not involved in the detention of Bruce and that, in fact, it was another unit that took him into custody. Vidal says that he cannot speak on behalf of the commander of that unit, but can say that as the commander of the GSU, he never gave any instructions to deny a person his rights. Vidal says it is regrettable that the attorneys of Bruce were misinformed and that after hearing comments made by Peyrefitte on Thursday’s newscast, he was in contact with him. Vidal also says that media personnel outside the court this morning would have seen Bruce being taken by uniformed members of the unit in question and into their vehicle which he says would indicate that the GSU was not involved. Peyrefitte today clarified that he has been told that the team which held his client was in fact the Anti-Drug Unit.

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1 Response for “Will Deon Bruce be extradited without a hearing?”

  1. Eddie says:

    Guilty or not and if he is (guilty) just like Karma coming full circle on him the other story entitled “Border management gets PIRS: Personal Identification Registration System” will come back and bite him and us in the a$$. All this means to me is if I make an idiotic comment that is deemed by mother U.S.A and the N.S.A. as terroristic in nature they will instruct our officials to pick me up off the streets or sleeping in my bed and whisk me away to Guantanamo Bay to be water boarded and force fed… Don’t et me wrong but you all need to stop worrying about your Facebook status and who will be the next Apprentice and Superstar and start worrying about who will be the next Adolf Hitler/ Joseph Stalin type lifelong dictator of Belize… hint hint our benevolent leader wears no hair and his linguistically ignorant side kick hates the trees.

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