A Brazilian judge has ruled that the CEO of Mirror Trading International must remain in preventive custody after authorities in South Africa have already presented their Brazilian counterparts with documents needed for extradition purposes. The judge also rejected Johann Stenberg’s attempts to use his Brazilian family as grounds to end his precautionary detention.
Documentation for Steinberg’s formal extradition
A Brazilian judge recently ruled one of South Africa’s biggest cryptocurrency scams was Mirror Trading International.[एमटीआई]mastermind Johann Stenberg, revoking his precautionary detention. In his application, the MTI CEO had reportedly argued that since no formal extradition request was made, the court should at least place him under house arrest.
Stenberg also argued that when he left South Africa in December 2020, there was no outstanding warrant for his arrest and that the case itself failed to meet certain requirements that would make extradition possible. Also, as stated in the document released by the Brazilian judiciary, Stenberg raised the point that since he had started a family in Brazil, it would be enough to put him under house arrest.
However, in his ruling, Judge André Mendonca of the Supreme Court of Brazil rejected the arguments put forward by Stenberg. The judge revealed that the South African authorities had in fact “submitted documents for the purpose of formalizing the extradition request”. [on April 14, 2022.],
In addition, the judge noted that the warrant for Stenberg’s arrest was also “issued by the Justice of South Africa on 03/01/2022, as evidenced by Interpol’s Red Diffusion documents.” A document reportedly sent by the South African Ministry of Public Affairs suggested that the MTI CEO was being investigated for his role in the bitcoin scam upon leaving the country.
stenberg a flight risk
As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, Stenberg handed over control of the MTI fund to his wife, Nerina, before disappearing in late 2020. Yet until he was arrested by Brazilian law enforcement in December 2021, the former MTI mastermind was reportedly in a relationship with a Brazilian woman.
Addressing Stenberg’s attempt to use his intimate relationship with the unidentified woman as a justification to block his extradition, Mendonca said:
The fact that the person being extradited has resided in Brazil and formed a family does not in itself preclude preventive arrest and future extradition. As noted by the Attorney General’s office, ‘the rule in extradition is a precautionary arrest, as the respect between jurisdictions is mutual.’ The person being extradited, to be repeated, is with imprisonment in your country of origin.
The judge said the fact that Stenberg had forged identity documents at the time of his arrest meant he “intended to avoid potential criminal liability.” The judge’s ruling also indicated that Stenberg could still breach the terms of the house arrest if the court granted his request for one.
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