Crime

Extradition of Andrew Bennett underway says Attorney General

By Benjamin Flowers

Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte, told the media this week that his ministry is proceeding with the relevant steps to comply with the United States request to extradite attorney Andrew Bennett.

Peyrefitte explained that the process has several phases, beginning with the Solicitor General’s submission of various documents to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Peyrefitte confirmed that Sol Gen Nigel Hawke has already submitted those papers, and that his ministry is now awaiting another set of documents to come from Foreign Affairs so they can proceed with the next phase, which is applying to the Magistrates Court for extradition.

“We have not received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs any documentation for us to bring to the Magistracy as yet, as of what I knew 8 o’clock this morning,” Peyrefitte said on Monday, following the opening of the legal year.

He went on to say that processing the extradition request for any Belizean is difficult, but that the situation is compounded because he considers Bennett a “very good acquaintance” and colleague. He also said that he will set aside his personal feelings and comply with the process as required.

In late December 2017, local media reported that the United States is seeking Bennett’s extradition on several counts of money laundering. The allegations are that he agreed to launder some $250,000 for a fee of 20 percent, for a man whom he did not know was an undercover agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

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