U.S. unfreezes Zhenli assets

U.S. district court judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the Justice Department to release the frozen assets of Mexican businessman Zhenli Ye Gon, including US$1.7 million in cash, a Rolls Royce, a Lamborghini, and two Mercedes. The judge refused a State Department request to keep the assets frozen pending an expected request from the Mexican government to extradite Ye Gon on drug charges, noting that Mexico had had two years to present a formal request but had not done so. “You are asking me to be sensitive to the interests of a foreign government, but they have not assisted you in more than two years,” Reforma quoted the judge as telling State Department counsel Robert Stapleton. In a separate court hearing, Ye Gon’s lawyers forced a postponement in the extradition hearing scheduled for last week. (Reforma 9/17, BLT 9/16)

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