By Marion V. Ali Staff Reporter
Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that if US authorities requests the extradition of Dr. Errol Elrington, the brother of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General, Wilfred Elrington, Belize would not and could not do anything to stop it.
While it is Elrington, in his capacity of Minister of Foreign Affairs, who would have to make such a decision, Prime Minister Barrow says that Minister Elrington, who is currently away, would have to recuse himself in this case from making that decision.
A minister’s decision to extradite someone to the US to face trial normally comes after the matter has been ventilated in the court system and would still need the minister’s intervention on such grounds like undue delay or for humanitarian reasons.
The US Embassy would normally seek a person’s extradition to subject him/her to face justice in their country but so far no such requests have been made.
Dr. Elrington’s other brother, Hubert Elrington, S.C., has publicly admitted that the medical practitioner is in Belize but that he does not think that this was one of the circumstances where an extradition would arise.
Elrington told reporters this week that his brother’s only fault was in not cross-checking the qualifications of one of his employees.
“It turned out that this doctor did not have some of the licenses that were needed, and you know in the United States they are very strict…it is kind of regrettable that he was not paying the kind of attention he should have been paying but it sometimes happens in life and we live in a democracy. But it’s not that he himself did any wrong.”
Dr. Elrington, who lives and works in Michigan State, is wanted after the US Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services declared him a fugitive.
His arrest warrant dates back to October of 2013, when he became the subject of an investigation for racketeering, Medicaid fraud and Health Care Fraud.
Dr. Elrington is accused of falsely billing Medicare and Medicaid more than US$400,000 for services that were never rendered, and that he employed an unlicensed physician accused of criminal sexual misconduct.
The Inspector General’s website says Elrington left the US 24 hours after federal agents questioned him.