Posted: Friday, January 19, 2018. 9:12 a.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: Andrew Bennett, the first attorney in Belizean history to be wanted for extradition to the United States, is out on bail valued at $100,000.
Bennett appeared before Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraiser yesterday, who granted him bail despite objections by Solicitor General Nigel Hawke. Hawke objected to bail on the basis that Belize has extradition treaty obligations to uphold to the United States.
Bennett’s attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, explained that Bennett’s offence is bailable and that his case differs greatly from other extradition cases, where the accused have typically not been granted bail.
The Chief Magistrate decided that Bennett was unlikely to violate the treaty, given that he is an officer of the court. Bennett is wanted in the US district of Puerto Rico for seven counts of money laundering.
The US requested his extradition in late 2017. His arraignment before the chief magistrate comes after approvals from both the Attorney General’s Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign affairs.
He is scheduled to return to court on February 2.
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