Belizean businessman Rhett Fuller is bracing for a possible arrest in Belize followed by potential extradition to the United States.
News came down on Tuesday that his appeal was dismissed by the Privy Council.
As has been widely reported, Fuller is wanted in the U.S. for first degree Murder in connection with the fatal shooting of an American National Larry Miller which occurred in 1990.
Fuller had appealed on the grounds that it was an abuse of power and that the Supreme Court and the Chief Magistrate had jurisdiction in an application for habeas corpus in an extradition case.
The ruling was that the court really has no jurisdiction in the matter, only the Minister of Foreign Affairs has the discretion to discharge a person committed in an extradition proceeding, on the grounds of abuse of process. So, now, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington has to decide if he will hand over Citizen Fuller.
As we understand it, He can refuse based on a number of issues, including ill health, fairness, adequacy of evidence, delay of process, and if the extradition has become barred by lapse of time.
Fuller’s attorney Eamon Courtenay told us that they have written to Elrington and asked what procedure he will adopt.
The solicitor general has replied and told them that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is reviewing the judgment and will be in touch with them.
Courtenay says they still have legal options here in Belize and they intend to pursue them.
Fuller told us he expects that his bail will be withdrawn any minute and that he needs to apply again for bail. Via email he said, “Any minute the police will arrest me and send me to jail. You can guess my state of mind at this point in time, I am depressed, frustrated and angry, the only thing left to give them is my blood.”
And while Fuller reaches another low, we expect that the US will cling to its demand for extradition.
Miller was shot and killed on March 22, 1990 in Miami Dade County, Florida. A warrant was issued for Fuller’s arrest the following day but before Fuller could have been apprehended, he left the U.S. for Belize.
On August 17, 1998, the U.S. Embassy in Belize made a formal request for Fuller’s extradition to the U.S
This article was published by News Belize on August 9, 2011.
To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.
Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.
The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at email@example.com or at one of the offices listed above.