Mark Seawell’s extradition case continues

vlcsnap-2013-08-27-07h50m33s155Attorneys for Mark Seawell, the Belizean accused of drug trafficking and criminal conspiracy in the U.S. state of Ohio in the 1990’s, have vigorously opposed his extradition to the United States. Mr Sewawell’s attorneys are charging among other things that the U.S. is relying on improperly gathered evidence that was allowed in error by former Chief Magistrate Margaret Gabb McKenzie when she ordered the extradition in September of 2011. But in court before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning, senior crown counsel in the Solicitor General’s office, Magali Perdomo, responded that in fact it is for the applicant to establish by what evidence his detention is unlawful under habeas corpus and he has not. According to Mr Perdomo, the sole evidence before the court directly related to Mr Seawell’s application is his own affidavit which makes some interesting claims. Mark Seawell, relying on the advice of his attorneys, the late Dr. Elson Kaseke, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Bryan Neal and currently Arthur Saldivar, claims that there is no evidence of his being identified as participating in activities which in any event he steadfastly denies committing. He also claims that the 1870 Extradition Act under which the hearing took place does not apply under the Belize-USA extradition treaty of 2000. He also argues that at the time she made the order for extradition, Margaret Gabb-McKenzie was not operating as Chief Magistrate, as she had been succeeded by Ann-Marie Smith and that if Mrs. McKenzie was in fact properly operating she did not apply procedure for extradition to the case. In fact, Mr Seawell, through his attorneys, is saying that the entire affair was an unjust and oppressive abuse of process that would not guarantee him a fair trial in the U.S. These contentions, Perdomo strongly denied, stating that Mark Seawell had not met the threshold provided for in the outstanding Privy Council case of Rhett Fuller among others. Arguments continued throughout the course of the day.

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