Rhett Fuller continues fight against extradition

vlcsnap-2013-07-25-11h24m06s15In March of this year, Belizean businessman Rhett Fuller turned around a long history of losses before the courts in his long-running fight to avoid extradition to Miami-Dade County, Florida, for a murder that took place more than two decades ago. The Court of Appeal allowed his appeal of a decision by then-Supreme Court Justice Samuel Awich in November of 2011 to allow the decision of Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington to extradite Fuller, 44, to stand. In September of 2011 the Minister had turned down submissions from Fuller’s attorney, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, on Fuller’s behalf to allow him to stay in light of suggested abuse of process by the U.S. Government that seeks him, after the Privy Council found it could not completely review Fuller’s case. The Court in its decision this year asked the Minister to rehear the petition and reconsider certain points in his 2011 decision and gave him guidance as to how to do so. On Wednesday in Belize City, the Minister and Mr Courtenay met and the attorney spoke to the press thereafter, noting that the Minister wanted further explanation of a specific point – the effect of separating Mr Fuller’s autistic daughter, Gabriela, from her father.

Eamon Courtenay – Attorney for Rhett Fuller:
vlcsnap-2013-07-25-10h30m09s140Today was scheduled to make representation to the Hon. Wilfred Elrington for him to decide whether to surrender Rhett Fuller to the United States Government. The Minister looked at the evidence that we provided to him and felt that he should give Mr. Fuller an opportunity to get evidence of an expert. Mr. Fuller and his wife have a daughter that is very sick, who is autistic and the Minister would like expert evidence as to the effect of a surrender of Mr. Fuller on his daughter. So he has given Mr. Fuller 6 weeks to provide expert evidence in that regard. We are very grateful for that opportunity – we had two letters before the Minister from the experts that are available in Belize but now he has given us time to go to the expert from the US that actually diagnosed Gabriela and to see if that expert would be able to give an affidavit so that he has sworn evidence from that expert. We hope with that evidence it will weigh very heavily on the Minister as to whether or not Mr. Fuller is to be extradited.

According to Mr Courtenay, the Minister’s request is no indication of a successful case.

Eamon Courtenay – Attorney for Rhett Fuller:

I don’t want to reach that conclusion at all – we need to get an expert who is going to give the Minister the evidence from a professional view point, for the Minister to consider. We already have two letters, written by two experts, but the Minister prefers to have it by way of affidavit evidence. So he has given us six weeks to try to get that evidence.   

Fuller remains on remand in the Belize Central Prison at Hattieville, one of a long list of Belizeans facing extradition to the United States.

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