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Apr 30, 2019

Will Extradition Case Against Andy Bennett Fall Apart in Court?

Anthony Sylvestre

Allegations made against Bennett include his purported role in establishing a money laundering operation with the aid of high-level bankers and politicians in Belize, on behalf of drug trafficking organizations.  The ring, we understand, was set up in November 2013.  Sometime thereafter, DEA special agent Joseph Pelz reportedly met with Bennett in person, he also spoke with the well-known attorney by phone.  Pelz claims to have handed over two hundred and fifty thousand U.S. dollars to Bennett for the purpose of legitimizing the supposedly ill-gotten cash.  According to Sylvestre, the fact that no certification of the documents was ever provided to the U.S. State Department by Belize’s ambassador to the United States is crucial to the case being built against his client.

 

Anthony Sylvestre, Attorney for Andrew Bennett

“That’s a very critical and important point because, as we submitted to the court, and I think all parties appreciate, if that is not in the bundle of documents then that brings an end to these extradition proceedings.  So it’s an issue which therefore the court adjourned to allow the government to see what would be their next step in respect to that.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, so is this an issue that your client intends to press, this particular document being missing?”

 

Anthony Sylvestre

“No.  Well the point of this is that the documents, they must have certain formalities, certain conditions being satisfied.  It’s similar to, and the point was made in court that extradition proceedings are like preliminary inquiries, so in the case of, let’s say Belize, somebody is arrested, is charged and he goes through a preliminary inquiry process, but when you look at the documents submitted, they don’t have certain conditions.  For instance, one of the conditions in preliminary inquiries in Belize is that a statement has to be recorded and has to have certain forms.  So if the statements do not have those forms then what would happen is that the court would say, well really and truly then there is no evidence before me to consider and therefore this matter cannot proceed.  So we are in the same, similar realm of eventuality.  No final decision has been made but this is important to know, it’s a very critical point so we’ll just have to wait and see how if at all these matters can be rehabilitated by the United States government in this matter.”

 

Reporter

“But if that’s the case the matter could have also, could always be brought back again if that’s the case and it’s corrected.”

 

Anthony Sylvestre

“I would not want to give any ideas, but certainly there are always legal options that are available to litigants before a court.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What are we looking at in terms of the adjournment and whatever preparations on your part should that day come?”

 

Anthony Sylvestre

“Well for our part we will seek to further bolster our position with authorities, further authorities when we come next time to reinforce the point because it is a very, very important point.”

 

The matter has been adjourned to May sixteenth.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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