The government of Belize is ready to extradite Slovak murder suspect Karol Mello, the country’s Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse has told a journalist in an interview with 7newsbelize.com, published on July 26.
“Of course as you know I signed the order after proper consultation with the director of immigration, the police and all other concerned parties, and we are hoping to enforce the order,” said Hulse, as quoted by 7newsbelize.com.
When asked why the state officials did not expel Mello on July 16 when the order for extradition was issued, Hulse responded that “there is a little complication there in terms of how it was done”, explaining that they signed the order one day later and that Mello’s lawyers subsequently succeeded in persuading the court to issue a preliminary injunction banning the extradition.
He added that in his opinion even when a person has permanent residence in Belize, if his country of origin says he has committed a crime and asks for his extradition, the government should return him or her.
“I do not think that we are in a position to suggest to a sovereign government that their citizen should not be returned to their country,” Hulse told 7newsbelize.com. “We do not have any extradition orders with that country, but Lord, if it was a Belizean who was accused of doing something here and he fled to another country we would want him back here to stand trial.”
Mello, charged with organising at least two murders in Slovakia, was detained by the Belizean police on July 11. Though the Slovak side sought a quick extradition since he was arrested by immigration police, the case became complicated after Mello claimed that he had entered Belize legally and is therefore entitled to some kind of hearing before he is expelled.
He is currently waiting for the ruling of the court which will decide over the proposal of his attorney Godfrey Smith to bring Mello before the court, arguing that he has been wrongly detained on July 31.
For more information about this story please see: Mello’s extradition gets complicated
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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