Mark Seawell extradition hearing finally underway

vlcsnap-2013-08-16-07h25m08s215There was one last delay before the habeas corpus hearing for wanted accused drug trafficker Mark Seawell got underway Thursday afternoon in the Supreme Court. Due to vehicle problems, Mr Seawell was not brought to court until midday, more than two hours after he was scheduled to be there. This afternoon his attorney, Arthur Saldivar, opened arguments by charging, over the objections of Senior Crown Counsel Magali Perdomo for the Solicitor General’s Office, that his client suffered from abuse of process because he was unjustly targeted under improper procedure. The indictment against Mark Seawell charges a long-standing conspiracy to import cocaine into the U.S. state of Ohio and mostly relies on the sworn affidavits of ten alleged “co-conspirators”. Those co conspirators allegedly cooperated with the U.S. Government in return for their charges being dropped or reduced under a plea bargain. This according to Mr Saldivar constitutes an inducement which would not be permissible under the laws of Belize. He and Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin argued back and forth over the extent of Belize’s law that is applicable to the case. Meanwhile, Mr Perdomo objected for the record that Mr Saldivar was trying to get the case re-heard in a higher court after then-Chief Magistrate Margaret McKenzie ruled against Seawell in 2011. The arguments continued up to press time and will likely continue Friday.

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