THE GOVERNMENT of Belize is ready to extradite Slovak murder suspect Karol Mello, the country’s immigration minister, Godwin Hulse, told the 7newsbelize.com website in an interview published on July 26.
“Of course, as you know I signed, the [extradition] 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 Belize officials did not expel Mello on July 16, when the order for his extradition was issued, Hulse responded that “there is a little complication there in terms of how it was done”, explaining that he signed the order a day later and that Mello’s lawyers subsequently succeeded in persuading a court to issue a preliminary injunction blocking 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 him to be extradited, the government should return him.
“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, who is accused of organising several murders in Slovakia, was detained by the Belizean police on July 11. Though Slovakia sought his rapid extradition, Mello claimed that he had entered Belize legally and successfully applied to present his case before a judge before the extradition order could be implemented.
6. Aug 2012 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff