Home Extradition Extradition process against Attorney Andrew Bennett commences

Extradition process against Attorney Andrew Bennett commences

7 min read
0
0
543

Belizean Attorney Andrew Bennett is out on bail tonight. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Sharon Frazer for arraignment on an extradition request. Bennett is wanted in the US territory of Puerto Rico for money laundering charges. He denies the allegations and today the Chief Magistrate, after considering all factors, granted Bennett bail at a cost of one hundred thousand dollars. Hipolito Novelo reports.

HIPOLITO NOVELO, LOVE NEWS REPORTER

Mr. Bennett do you have any comments?

ANDREW BENNETT, ATTORNEY

No Comments.

HIPOLITO NOVELO, LOVE NEWS REPORTER

Do you still deny the allegations, sir?

HIPOLITO NOVELO, REPORTING FOR LOVE NEWS

Belizean attorney Andrew Bennett had no comment as he walked away from the Magistrate Court building in downtown Belize City.

He appeared before Chief Magistrate Sharon Frazer with respect to money laundering allegations. The US Government wants Bennett extradited to answer to seven counts of money laundering charges in Puerto Rico. The allegations date back to 2015.

Solicitor General Nigel Hawke says the Government was obliged to object to bail.

NIGEL HAWKE, SOLICITOR GENERAL

“We issued our formal objection because of our treaty obligations in respect of bail. At this point, the proceedings are deemed open so there’s not much that we can say until we really get to the beginning of things. Once the documents have been laid before the courts we are going to have to be ready to have those documents ready for disclosure and the position is yes.”

Bennett denies all allegations. Today his attorney, Anthony Sylvestre brought an arsenal of legal submissions as to why Bennett had the right to bail. He began by explaining that the Chief Magistrate has the authority to grant bail. He then focused on Bennett’s constitutional right to bail.

ANTHONY SYLVESTRE, ATTORNEY FOR ANDREW BENNETT

 “Of those very, very important and fundamental rights is that it should not be deprived of their liberty except in accordance with the law in that when the principles with respect to bail were considered that in all the circumstances this defendant ought to have been granted bail.”

One of the questions that Chief Magistrate Frazer contemplated was: Is Andrew Bennett a flight risk?

ANTHONY SYLVESTRE, ATTORNEY FOR ANDREW BENNETT

 “We stress and we assure that look as way back as the 28th of December he got knowledge of this thank to the media. Later on he acknowledged that the Foreign Minister actually signed the order for the process to actually start and to be proceeded with. Then the warrant which was issued by the court for his arrest, he knew about that and he complied voluntarily to surrender himself and those are things that show that he clearly has no intention of going anywhere.”

The Chief Magistrate also had to establish that the charge is a bailable offence. It is. In fact the only two charges for which bail cannot be offered in murder and treason. The Chief Magistrate also had to establish whether or not, granting bail would violate conditions of the extradition treason. It will not.

ANTHONY SYLVESTRE, ATTORNEY FOR ANDREW BENNETT

 Well that was one of the points he took as well that there is this presumption of innocence. As Mr. Hawke the Solicitor General has pointed out in terms of the materials and matter we can’t discuss that as the matter has now commenced and so during the course of proceedings the evidence would unfold and at that point in time the media would then have free reign to disclose that but at this point there is not much we can say with respect to the charges.”

Bennett was offered bail of one hundred thousand dollars plus a surety of the same amount. He is to surrender all travel documents. He is to present himself at the Queen Street Police station twice a week. Reporting for Love News, I am Hipolito Novelo.

The case was adjourned to February 2, 2018.

  • KHMH, 23 years later

    The Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital is Belize’s national referral hospital. For the past tw…
  • Expo Belize Market Place 2018

    Over the weekend, the Belize Chamber of Commerce held its annual signature trade show unde…
  • Maheia recounts encounter with GAF

    Over the weekend, the Belize Territorial Volunteers held its third annual Eco Challenge. T…
Load More Related Articles
Load More By Love FM
Load More In Extradition

Leave a Reply

Check Also

Belize commemorates World Refugee Day

At the end of 2017 it is estimated that 68.5 million people were displaced worldwide. Refu…