Today, Andrew Bennett, (VO ANDREW BENNETT) who is fighting an extradition, appeared once again before Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser, along with his attorney, Anthony Sylvestre. Bennett, who is an attorney at law, is wanted by the US authorities on money laundering charges but has maintained his innocence. After this morning’s court hearing, Sylvestre spoke with the media about what transpired in court.
Anthony Sylvestre – Attorney: “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 of 2017. He first appeared before the court in January of 2018 when he was arraigned, we have applied for bail for him, he has been 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 from our substantive submissions that were filed in which we commenced this morning was one relating to the documents which were submitted to the court under the Extradition Act and specifically the Expedition Treaty with the United States Government and Belize. There is the requirement by virtue of article 7 that the document 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, it was not the United States Department of State officer we took an issue with but the issue we took was the fact that in the bundle of documents there was no certification done by the Belize Ambassador to the United States and that is a very critical and important point because as we submitted to the Court. I think all parties would appreciate if that is not in the bundle of documents then that brings that into these extradition proceedings so it is an issue which there for the court adjourned to allow the Government to see what would be their next step in respect to that.”
The Crown is being represented by Crown Counsel Samantha Matute-Tucker. The case was adjourned to May 16.