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Aug 5, 2013

Khalid El Turk happy not to be extradited to the U.S.A.

Khalid El Turk

Several persons including Mark Sewell, Rhett Fuller and more recently, Dion Bruce, are currently behind bars at the Central Prison, as they are fighting extradition to the United States. Well, just after ten this morning, Belizean national Khalid Jamil El Turk was saved from being sent to the U.S.  Since October eighteenth of 2012, El Turk was incarcerated on the strength of a provisional warrant and one month later, on November twentieth, an extradition request was made by the Government of the United States for him. El Turk was wanted for two offenses: the Importation of Pseudoephedrine into the United States and Conspiracy to Import Pseudoephedrine into the United States, both of which are punishable by imprisonment for not more than ten years in that country. But the case fell apart, today, when Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith ruled that a prima facie case was not established by legal representatives of the Attorney General and the United States of America, Magali Perdomo and Iliana Swift. Attorney for El Turk, Anthony Sylvester, spoke to the media following the release of his client.

 

Anthony Sylvester, Attorney for Khalid El Turk

Anthony Sylvester

“We had argued from the outset that the offenses for which Mister El Turk extradition was sought—those being for importation of pseudoephedrine and conspiracy to import pseudoephedrine into the United States—that those were not offenses which are punishable in Belize. It may also be recalled that it was conceded by the representative of the United States government that in fact that is not the case. So during the course of the extradition proceedings, they altered their argument to say that well the request was not solely for importation of pseudoephedrine or conspiracy to import pseudoephedrine, but also with respect to the production of methamphetamines. What was done we had by way of response indicated that there was no evidence in the extradition bundle that methamphetamine was a drug which is punishable in the United States by depravation of liberty which is to say imprisonment for a year or more. And indeed we had also argued that the extradition bundle was not properly authenticated as required by the extradition act. And as bared out in the decision of the learned Chief Magistrate, she actually agreed with our submissions on those two counts and she held that the offenses are not extraditable offenses and that there is no evidence in the extradition bundle on which she would have been able to rely and deem that the particular offence of production of methamphetamine is punishable in the United States by imprisonment for more than one year. And she also took to point that the issue of authentication of the document. In extradition proceedings, it is important that documents are authenticated by the representative of the Belize government resident in the United States.”

 

The extradition of criminal fugitives between Belize and the United States of America, must be in accordance with the Extradition Treaty found in schedule to the Extradition Act, which mandates that extradition can only be pursued in respect of an extraditable offense and it must be shown that the offenses for which the defendant’s extradition request is predicted must either fall within the Schedule annexed to the Treaty, or be an offence punishable in Belize by depravation of liberty for a period of more than one year. And according to Chief Magistrate Smith, following her perusal of the documents, “the offences do not amount to extraditable offences in Belize, so the court is being asked to ignore the fact that the offences have no place in Belize law and look only to the conduct of El Turk.” She further stated that the ‘offence of conduct’ was not disclosed in the documents, which accompanied the extradition request. As a result, El Turk was ordered to be discharged and was a free man. The D.P.P., however, is reserved the right to bring El Turk back before the courts.

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3 Responses for “Khalid El Turk happy not to be extradited to the U.S.A.”

  1. Da Undertaker says:

    Yeah, yeah. So he got away this time. Shame on the Belize courts. But bad habits are hard to break.

    Who is going to protect this guy the second time around? Da Undertaker says it is just a matter of time before this guy……………. falls (shall we say?)

  2. Mello Yellow says:

    extradition is not in Belize’s best interests.

    criminals must feel they are secure from prosecution before they will move here.
    local prosecution does not count, a good lawyer can block those.

  3. belizeanheat says:

    Great call magistrate. Can’t wait until this moron starts manufacturing crystal meth here in Belize. You think crack is a problem, wait till meth hits the streets.

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