- updated February 10th. 2022
Belizean wanted by US in connection to charges of DUI-Manslaughter after fatal traffic accident 23 years ago!
“Chief Magistrate gets order from Ministry of Foreign Affairs; issue warrant to apprehend Belmopan resident wanted in U.S
by Anita Nembhard-Flowers
channel 1 Belize.com
Belize City, Tues. Feb. 8, 2022
A Belizean man is wanted in the U.S after over two decades has lapsed, on allegations of DUI-Manslaughter and DUI-Assault from a traffic fatality which occurred back in 1998.
46 year old Osmar Eliaser Correa, is a resident of the Belmopan area; and today the speculation was that he could be extradited at the end of his court proceedings that commenced in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court today.
According to the extradition filing, United States authorities say Osmar Eliaser Correa , absconded from the U.S over 23 years ago after a fatal road-traffic-accident. The Magistrate’s Court has now informed Osmar Eliaser Correa of the reason for his arrest which was given based on an order issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for his extradition to the U.S
According to Assistant Superintendent Derwin Sambula, employed at the Legal Office for the department who appeared for the state in court today, based on the order from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The extradition request was received on January 14, 2022 from the U.S Embassy and according to the crown (prosecution) , the allegations against Correa is that he stand trial for the offense of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, ( known in the U.S as DUI-Manslaughter. driving under the influence).
The Attorney’s View
Attorney for the defendant, David Moralez submitted in court that while he is not challenging the extradition request, he is of the view that the incident which is alleged to have occurred in 1998, and his client has been living in Belize since then and has been traversing the Western and Northern border with his passport and his whereabouts was never an issue.
He believe it was the U.S who dragged their feet in dealing with the matter and now his client’s livelihood is being infringed on.
He further submitted that his client is not a flight risk and that he is an outstanding member of his community in Belmopan with a wife and two chidlren.
And knowing his client is wanted for extradition now he would definitely not venture to either border, because he could be nab, attorney David Morales asked the court to set conditions for his bail.
Attorney Morales was optimistic that his client would be granted bail, stating that it is his clients fundamental rights especially given the years since the incident happened.
He also added that the matter is just allegations being made against his client and from instruction given to him by his client, the incident did not occur the way the authorities said it did.
And while Attorney Moralez says he may have jumped the gun before the crown-prosecution could submit their objection to bail being granted to Correa, that was exactly just the case submitted minutes later by Assistant Superintendent, Derwin Sambula.
The Crown-Prosecution’s View
He submitted that pursuant to the treaty; the U.S is objecting to bail as the common trend that arises through application for bail is the risk of the defendant absconding.
He further added that the reason why the US is seeking Correa is simply because he absconded from the U.S and, it is likely that he will do it again, hence why he asked the court not to take into consideration the years that has lapse since the incident occur.
The Courts View
Chief Magistrate Fraser was not convinced after hearing his attorney submissions and after she took both submissions into consideration, she agreed with the State, represented by Assistant superintendent Sambula from the legal service with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and denied him bail.
She did inform him of his rights to seek bail though the Supreme Court. With that said the matter was further adjourned for March 8, 2022. Correa was remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison until then when the matter will be heard again before the Chief Magistrate in court #1.
Extradition is an action wherein one jurisdiction delivers a person accused or convicted of committing a crime in another jurisdiction, over to the other’s law enforcement. It is a cooperative law enforcement procedure between the two jurisdictions and depends on the arrangements made between them. In addition to legal aspects of the process, extradition also involves the physical transfer of custody of the person being extradited to the legal authority of the requesting jurisdiction.
In an extradition process, one sovereign jurisdiction typically makes a formal request to another sovereign jurisdiction (“the requested state”). If the fugitive is found within the territory of the requested state, then the requested state may arrest the fugitive and subject him or her to its extradition process. The extradition procedures to which the fugitive will be subjected are dependent on the law and practice of the requested state.
Written & Compiled by: channel1Belize.com / digitalBelize,LIVE Staff writer – updated: Thursday, February 10th. 2022 – firstname.lastname@example.org