Crime

Rhett Fuller appeals Minister’s extradition order

Two diplomatic cables that were posted on the Wikileaks website led to a another appeal in businessman Rhett Fuller’s protracted anti-extradition case.

Last Friday, Fuller’s attorney, Eamon Courtenay, asked the court for an injunction to stay Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General Hon. Wilfred Elrington’s December 2011 order to extradite his client to the United States, because the cables reveal that the Elrington had discussed the case with representatives of the U.S. government.

Courtenay said the fact that they were discussing the matter, while it was before the minister and later before Supreme Court Justice Samuel Awich, was prejudicial to his client.

The appeal justices, however, refused the  request.

Courtenay, however, returned to court on Monday with another series of submissions, including a rebuttal to Elrington and Justice Awich’s ruling that was based on a judgement from the Privy Council.

Courtenay argued that the minister and the learned judged, as Belize government authorities, should have formed their own judgements based on the evidence and submissions that were before them.

He said, “Minister Elrington did not properly weigh the evidence that Mr. Fuller had put before him … Our submission to the court is that the  Rhett Fuller decision in the Privy Council has nothing to do with what was before the Minister.”

He added, “Another important factor that the Minister absolutely did not look at, which the cases say he can look at, is the effect of this on his family.

“Mr. Fuller has a daughter that is suffering from autism and what is the effect of that on Mr. Fuller’s daughter … those are the matters that the minister ought to have taken into account.

Courtenay said the minister failed to do so “because he [the minister] felt that the Privy Council had decided everything already, which is wrong.”

The Court of Appeal has reserved its judgement until a later date.

If Fuller cannot convince the Court of Appeal, his last resort is the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which is the highest court in Belize’s jurisdiction.

However, the appeals court would have to grant them leave to take the case to the CCJ.

Fuller is wanted for the murder of Glen Miller, a U.S. citizen, who was killed  in Miami Dade County in 1990.

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