Recently Gary Seawell loss his battle as the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith order he be extradited to the United States. Meanwhile his brother, Mark awaits his ruling. But beating the extradition process recently was Khalid El Turk and yesterday, Bangladesh national, Fakhrul Salim, who was first brought before the court earlier this year on extradition request. Salim is wanted by the US for allegedly being involved with money laundering and manufacturing of methamphetamine.
In court, his attorney Godfrey Smith argued that the charges are not extraditable offenses under the Extradition Act of Belize and that they did not constitute any offenses in Belize. And while that was Smith’s ground, representatives of the USA, Magali Perdomo and Lliana Swift argued that they did constitute an offense because methamphetamine and mythylamphetamine were the same and since being in possession of mythylamphetamine is an offense in Belize, he did commit a crime for which he could be extradited. But the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith did not share the Government/USA representatives view and said in her reasoning that,
“Having read and perused the documents tendered by the US, I am forced to conclude that a prema facie case has not been established against Salim.”
In conclusion, she said, “The court is of the opinion that this case cannot and will not substitute or prove that mythylamphetamine and methamphetamine are the same substance, and what was required was a chemist’s report or documentation from some expert in the field along with the preliminary papers to assist the court in this regard…”
She also added that, “And for the money laundering charge, I am forced to agree with Mr. Smith that although money laundering is recognized as a crime in Belize, if the substantive offense- the manufacturing of methamphetamine falls by the way side as not being an extraditable offense, then the money laundering offense must also fall.” Fakhrul Salim was not brought to court for today’s ruling. Still awaiting ruling on separate extradition cases are Mark Seawell and Deon Bruce.