By Aaron Humes
Gary Seawell, 39, will return to court on March 18, where he hopes to convince Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana that he should not be extradited to the U.S. State of Ohio to face drug trafficking charges.
Seawell’s attorney, Arthur Saldivar, explained that Tuesday’s hearing, the first with regard to his client’s application for writ of habeas corpus, challenging the legality of his detention, had to be adjourned because the documents from the Magistrate’s Court related to the case had not yet been transferred to the higher court.
According to Saldivar, this has happened in a previous case.
Gary’s oldest brother, Mark, 44, awaits a decision from Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin on his own application after being ordered to be extradited in 2011. There was a similar delay in getting his case material to the Supreme Court, Saldivar recounted.
As for proving that Gary Seawell deserves to be free, Saldivar insisted that there is no usable evidence before the court.
He maintains that the documents provided by the U.S. at the time of the extradition hearing are not valid, because there is no evidence that the persons giving the statements to authorities knew or were told that they had a duty to tell the truth and, if they did not, they would face the penalty for perjury, or lying under oath.
This, Saldivar said, made their information nothing more than “hearsay.”
Gary Seawell has been imprisoned at the Central Prison at Hattieville since his arrest in Esperanza, Cayo, four years ago.
He faces other charges, including possession of a prohibited firearm, a stolen M-4 carbine similar to one stolen from the Belize Defence Force earlier in 2010.
Gary, Mark, and youngest brother Duane Seawell, extradited from Jamaica, are accused of masterminding a drug trafficking ring in Ohio between 1994 and 1997. Duane Seawell has already been convicted in a Ohio court and imprisoned.
The Superintendent of Prisons and the Attorney General are the two respondents to the case.