General — 03 December 2013 — by Rochelle Gillett – Flowers
Fakhrul Salim has no case to answer to and will not be extradited

Salim was wanted by the US on allegations of being involved in money laundering and manufacturing methamphetamine

“Fakhrul Alam Salim must hereby be discharged and he is free to go.”

That was the ruling of the Chief Magistrate Anne-Marie Smith issued in writing on Thursday, November 28, 2013, after hearing arguments from both Magalie Perdomo and Iliana Swift on behalf of the Government of Belize, and Godfrey Smith, attorney for Salim.

On March 21, 2013, a warrant was issued against Salim after the United States sent a request for his extradition to face charges of conspiracy to manufacture and aid in the manufacturing of methamphetamine for importation into the US and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Smith argued that the charges pertaining to the manufacture of methamphetamine are not extraditable offenses under the Extradition Act of Belize, and they did not constitute any offenses in Belize.

Perdomo and Swift argued that they did constitute an offense, because methamphetamine and mythylamphetamine were the same, and since being in possession of mythylamphetamine is an offense here in Belize, Salim did commit a crime for which he could be extradited.

The Chief Magistrate, in outlining her reasoning, however, said that having read and perused the documents tendered by the US, she was forced to conclude that a prima facie case had not been made out for the extradition of Mr. Salim.

In her ruling, the Chief Magistrate concluded that the court was of the opinion that the case could not and would not prove, nor offer a substitute for the proof, that mythylamphetamine and methamphetamine are the same substance, and what was required was a chemist’s report or documentation from some expert in the field, along with the preliminary papers to assist the court in this regard.

And as for the money laundering charge, the Chief Magistrate said she was forced to agree with Smith that although money laundering is recognized as a crime in Belize, if the substantive offense – the manufacturing of methamphetamine – falls by the wayside as not being an extraditable offense, then the money laundering offense would also have to be dismissed.

It was then concluded that, based on the evidence presented to the court and the authorities cited, there was insufficient evidence to support Salim’s extradition, and he was ordered free to go.

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