By Aaron Humes: Belmopan Magistrate Ladonna John was not convinced that manager of William Mason’s Outback Ranch, Ryan Rhaburn, should be charged with the kidnapping of Mennonite businessman Lloyd Friesen and his wife, and so he was set free yesterday.
Police are left to try again to secure Rhaburn’s detention.
Friesen has formally told police that Mason swindled him of 300 thousand dollars and when he tried to get back the money, he wound up kidnapped, threatened and further extorted.
But after 96 hours in police detention, attorney Herbert Panton said police had not established prima facie evidence that the crime actually happened.
According to Panton, one must be held against his or her will in a certain place. Even though their heads were covered, they said they could recognize the accused – 2 male Creoles – if they saw them again. But there is an issue of place – the kidnapping supposedly took place at the ranch, at Mile 31 George Price Highway in the Belize District, but they were ultimately transported and held at Intelco Hill in Belmopan.
Panton expects that police will come after his client again; he says they must have their ducks in a row first.
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