Ecuador ratifies extradition of Paul Ceglia to the United States for alleged extortion against Mark Zuckerberg
Ecuadorian justice ratified the extradition of Paul Ceglia to the United States, who is imprisoned in Quito for accusations of electronic fraud after he tried to defraud the Facebook founder, his lawyer in the Andean country said Wednesday.
The Ecuadorian Court of Justice authorized the extradition of Ceglia, a seller of wood pellets, in November of last year, but his lawyers in the South American nation appealed the decision that was finally ratified by the judges.
“They deny him the appeal and confirm the sentence ordering the extradition,” Ceglia’s lawyer, Roberto Calderón, told Reuters by telephone.
Ceglia was captured in August last year in the coastal city of Salinas and then moved to Quito, after spending almost three and a half years as a fugitive when he took off his ankle bracelet and fled with his wife and two children, one of whom was which has Ecuadorian nationality.
“The last word would be President Lenin Moreno (…) for reasons of humanity, he will have enough sensitivity not to allow an Ecuadorian child to leave his father,” Calderón added.
The Ecuadorian government did not immediately pronounce on the issue.
Ceglia fled less than two months before her trial, scheduled in Manhattan federal court for mail fraud and wire fraud charges over the alleged falsification of documents to extort Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
The criminal case arose after Ceglia filed a civil lawsuit against Zuckerberg in 2010, claiming that he, while studying at Harvard University, signed a contract in 2003 that gave him half of a planned social networking site that later it became Facebook.
The lawyer has said that if Ceglia is extradited to the United States, he should only be prosecuted for electronic fraud and not for postal fraud. Ceglia has a trial for alimony in the Andean country and a family judge issued a ban on leaving the country, according to Calderón. (I)