We have news:
Timo Miller was "deported" from Nicaragua (which I'm sure he, in a sense, didn't mind, having been arrested there and kept in a foul prison for several weeks) and "arrested" when he arrived on U.S. soil. In other words, an extradition by another name. The Department of Justice states that he "is due to appear in the Western District of New York at a later date." At least in the U.S. he can't be held indefinitely without trial.
It's a horribly depressing thought that we have come to such a pass in the United States that this is good news. It's good news that a kindly, gentle, harmless Mennonite missionary has been arrested and is going to be tried and (in all probability) sent to federal prison merely for helping a woman who fled to Nicaragua to save her child from being given over to her former lesbian lover. All of his "crimes" were committed on Nicaraguan soil (you know, giving Lisa and Isabella a place to stay and introducing them to the Mennonite community), but apparently the U.S. Congress asserts jurisdiction over such acts committed abroad by U.S. citizens in so-called "international kidnapping" cases. It is a grave injustice that this is a crime at all. Yet I admit to being relieved (as I'm sure his family is) that he is not being held indefinitely without trial in Nicaragua, as seemed a real possibility at one time.
This reminds me of something once said over lunch to me and some others by someone who had lived as a child under Communism in Poland. He said something like this (paraphrased): "We had due process in Poland at that time. There were many crimes that shouldn't have been crimes, but they still had to get evidence to convict you of them."
That's pretty much where we're getting to in the U.S. now.
In related news, Philip Zodhiates has been convicted of international parental kidnapping for helping Lisa. Sentencing is scheduled for January 30. He could be sentenced to up to eight years and $500,000. Meanwhile, don't forget Janet Jenkins's RICO suit waiting in the wings against him, among others.
Some reports here appear to come from someone who was actually present at the Zodhiates trial. I make no endorsement of this blogger otherwise. I just found him by googling today. But he has some information. He states that the judge "scrupulously prevented the defence from going into the jury's right to judge the law as well as the facts" and that this made the conviction pretty much a fait accompli from the outset. This seems highly plausible, as I read in an earlier story that defense attorneys did intend to claim (inter alia) that it was unclear that Zodhiates actually broke the law by his acts, partly because the judge's order of full custody to Jenkins hadn't been officially made yet at the time of the escape. If the jury was not allowed to consider this or similar lines of defense, that could obviously prejudice the outcome. Would this possibly be grounds for an appeal for lack of due process? Would it be worth trying? I don't know.