Registe could be extradited soon - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Registe could be extradited soon

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - After a year on the run and another nine months of his case being held up in the Dutch courts, Michael Registe may finally be on his way back to the United States.

Back in December, courts in St. Maarten approved the extradition of Michael Registe, but his lawyers decided to appeal the case to the High Court of the Netherlands.

FBI agents confirm that Registe's hearing in front of the High Court took place April 21st, and a final decision will be made May 26th, less than three weeks from now.

Prosecutors for the case are already getting ready.

"We expect the defendant to be here in early June, we will then start the proceedings forward...it's an old case so we need to gather up the witnesses, but we will be prepared," said Laura Murphree, special prosecutor for the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council out of Atlanta.

FBI agents say they are already working on the logistics of bringing Registe back to the U.S.

If the decision comes down allowing the extradition, he could be on a plane back to Columbus in a matter of days.

He will immediately be turned over to Columbus Police, and will be housed in the Muscogee County Jail under the watch of deputies until his first court appearance.

"His first appearance will be in 72 hours of his return, where the defendant will be advised of his rights, a warrant has already been issued, he will have been arrested, and the case has already been indicted," said Murphree.

Since the indictment has already been handed down, the process should move a little faster than normal.

Still, a trial isn't expected anytime in the near future.

"We will work with the courts and defense council for an appropriate time frame, to get closure for everyone involved and see that justice is served," said Murphree.

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