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Mar 15, 2019

Ron Knowles and Kelvin Leach Beat Extradition Request

Before parliamentarians appeared in the Supreme Court, over at the Court of Appeal, a major decision was handed down. The court ruled in favour of Bahamian nationals Ron Knowles and Kelvin Leach. Since 2014, the two have been fighting a request by the United States Government to have them extradited to face trial for securities fraud.  Attorney Eamon Courtenay, has been representing Knowles and Leach over the years. He explained today the merits of the appeal pointing out that by illegally intercepting their communications, the U.S. government had violated the Belize constitution.

 

Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for Ron Knowles & Kelvin Leach

“The United States Government went through an interception of their communication; they did so in violation of the law of Belize; they did so in violation of the mutual legal assistance treaty between Belize and the United States and they did so in violation of the constitution of Belize. You will recall that the Rhett Fuller extradition decision and the Privy Council held that if it is unconstitutional to extradite someone, it is an abuse of process and it should not happen. We made submissions to the court that when you do surreptitious interception of communication without judicial authority, it violates your right to privacy and your right not to be subject to arbitrary search and seizure. Clearly the Court of Appeal agreed with us and felt that the United States acted unconstitutionally in Belize and that to proceed with the extradition would be an abuse of process and unconstitutional and therefore they forthwith released Mister Knowles and Mister Leach. And therefore their extradition proceedings are at an end and the gentlemen will not be forced to subject themselves to this unconstitutional proceeding.”

 

The stay of the extradition proceedings allows Leach and Knowles to remain in Belize, away from the long arms of the U.S. law.


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