Fuller applied for an appeal on the decision of the judicial review by Min. Wilfred Elrington
In September of 2011, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, heard applications in a tribunal as final arbiter on why it was unjust for the United States to continue its process of extraditing Rhett Fuller, 42.
In his ruling last year, he refused to deny the US’s request to extradite Fuller, who is wanted for questioning in connection with the first degree murder of US national Larry Miller, which occurred in March of 1990.
After the decision was made by Elrington, Fuller’s attorney, Eamon Couretnay, filed an appeal in October, 2012, to the Belize Court of Appeal. Courtenay’s arguments included information from Wikileaks that showed three diplomatic cables which documented communications between Elrington and representatives from the US embassy.
In those communiqués, Courtenay established that Elrington may have introduced bias in his decision, and in their decision handed down this morning, the judges gave two main reasons why they allowed Fuller’s appeal.
Those decisions were (1) bad faith from the US Government in relation to those cables, and (2) that the Foreign Minister did not fully exercise his jurisdiction to consider whether or not the delayed extradition process was unjust and oppressive to Fuller, a right he is fully entitled to under the law.
In speaking with the media, Fuller expressed his need to fully complete this saga of his life. He said that he just wants it to be completely dealt with, with no further acts popping up like a “jack in a box” on the part of the US or Belize.
He further expressed his need of being with his family without having to worry about being remanded again, because since 1998, he has been remanded on three separate occasions, and this last remand is his fourth. Fuller said that his children, especially his 4-year-old, need him at home.
In speaking with Courtenay today about bail for Fuller, Courtenay replied that, “Well at present he is remanded, and the question of whether we will apply for bail does arise. That depends on how long it will take and that sort of thing – as you know, we had applied for bail before and it was refused.”
The Appeal Court also awarded Fuller cost of the hearing, which should be final unless GOB makes an application within 7 days of today’s ruling.