Khalid El Turk Free to Go Print E-mail
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Thursday, 08 August 2013 00:00

Khalid El TurkKhalid El Turk appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for his extradition hearing on Monday, August 5th, and was relieved when Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith ruled that “the United States and [Government of Belize] have not made out a prima facie case for the extradition of EL Turk to the United States of America and he must therefore be discharged and is free to go”.

El Turk is accused by the United States of being “part of a group that illegally shipped pseudoephedrine from Bangladesh to Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico for use in the manufacture of Methamphetamine.” He is wanted in the U.S. for charges of conspiracy in the importation of pseudoephedrine and importation of pseudoephedrine. El Turk was detained on October 18, 2012 on the strength of a provisional warrant and an extradition request was presented to the Belize Embassy in Washington D.C. on November 30, 2012.

In court El Turk’s attorneys, Edwin Flowers and Anthony Sylvester, challenged the extradition based on the requirement that the offence being committed must be against the laws of both countries. Flowers submitted that the two offences El Turk is charged with do not exist in the Laws of Belize. Chief Magistrate Smith agreed with the defense and ruled that “the offences do not amount to extraditable offences in Belize”. She also pointed out that the bundle of documents presented by United States was not signed and certified by Belize’s principal diplomatic officer residing in that country which is required by the extradition treaty. Smith said, “I would advise The United States to comply with the strict requirements of Article 7 of the Extradition Treaty.”