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Apr 30, 2019

Attorney Andrew Bennett Continues His Fight to Remain in Belize

Andrew Bennett

Embattled attorney Andrew Bennett, who is fighting tooth and nail to remain in Belize, following an extradition request by the United States government, was back in court today.  He is wanted by U.S. authorities for his alleged role in a money laundering operation in Puerto Rico.  This morning, Bennett appeared before Chief Magistrate Sharon Frazer where the extradition proceedings were set to begin.  But before any significant progress could have been made, a discrepancy in the legal paperwork was flagged, calling into question the authenticity of documents tendered by the U.S. State Department.  Attorney Anthony Sylvestre is representing.  He spoke with the media upon adjournment of the matter.

 

Anthony Sylvestre

Anthony Sylvestre, Attorney for Andrew Bennett

“This morning we commenced the extradition proceedings relating to Mr. Andrew Bennett.  You will recall that an extradition request was made by the United States government in December 2017.  He first appeared before the court in January 2018 when he was arraigned.  We had applied for bail for him and he was granted bail, and so he has been on bail since then.  There has been several adjournments and this morning was the start of the proceedings.  One of the submissions that we had set out in our substantive submission that were filed and which we commenced this morning was one relating to the documents which were submitted to the court.  Under the extradition act, and it’s specifically the extradition treaty with the United States government and Belize, there is a requirement by virtue of Article 7 that the documents submitted should be authenticated by an officer of the United States Department of State and the documents are also to be certified by the Belize ambassador resident in the United States.  Now as it relates to the issue of the authentication by the United States Department of State officer, we didn’t take an issue with that, but an issue that we took was the fact that in the bundle of documents there was no certification done by the Belize ambassador to the United States.”


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