Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019. 9:41 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: In the Court of Appeal last week Friday, Bahamian nationals Rhon Knowles and Kelvin Leach were told they no longer had to face extradition to the United States.
In 2014, there was a major raid of the offices of Titan International Securities in the Matalon Building in Belize City as part of evidence collection in a U.S. case featuring multiple arrests.
The men argue that in addition to this, the U.S. authorities illegally and surreptitiously intercepted their communications in violation of U.S. and Belize law, according to attorney Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay. This, it was argued in court, violates their right to privacy and not to be subject to arbitrary search and seizure. It is also considered an abuse of process and therefore per prior case law such as the famous case of Rhett Fuller, this was an abuse of process and any extradition as a result would have been unconstitutional.
The case was heard on Thursday last, March 14th, and a ruling was initially set for a later date; but the court gave an oral ruling on Friday in favor of Knowles and Leach and granting a permanent stay of proceedings, ensuring that they cannot be sought again by U.S. agencies.
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