Posted: Monday, July 15, 2019. 10:01 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Confirmed reports reaching our news room is that Joseph Budna who escaped custody in Guatemala and was captured in Belize last week has been released by Belizean authorities.
Budna who was serving a 30 year sentence in Guatemala for a number of crimes including; robbery, kidnapping, extortion and previous escaped charges was captured in Belize a few weeks after his latest escape from Guatemalan authorities.
Budna has been on the run since May 27th, 2019 when he escaped from a hospital where he was receiving treatment. At every given opportunity, Budna has proclaimed his innocence and also pleaded with Police Commissioner Chester Williams to not hand him back over to Guatemalan Authorities. He accuses Guatemalan authorities of human rights and physical abuse and claims that if he is handed over the inhumane treatment and abuse will only continue.
Belize and Guatemala currently does not have any extradition treaty established and because Budna has not been found guilty of any crimes committed in Belize he was released from custody.
After his recapture last week, Chester Williams had told News 5 that Budna was also wanted in Belize for a drug trafficking charge, that he had absconded to Guatemala to avoid the charge, and that they were seeing how they could bring that matter back to court. Budna, however, has not been found guilty of this charge and BBN has not been able to confirm whether the drug trafficking case is still being pursued by the Police.
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