TAMPA, Florida - It would appear that Joshua Hakken's elaborate plan to kidnap his kids and avoid the long hand of the law worked -- or did it?
10 News wanted to know whether the U.S. can extradite him and his wife from Cuba back to the states, and return the children to the custody of their grandmother.
Cuba doesn't have an extradition treaty with the U.S., which means more than likely the communist island nation will not send the Hakkens back.
South Tampa attorney Ralph Fernandez says the U.S. can do "absolutely nothing."
"Prime example: Joanne Chesimard, who killed a trooper up in New Jersey. [She] still flaunts her presence in Havana," he says.
Fernandez says he knows first hand about extradition matters concerning Cuba. He spoke with 10 News Monday night by phone about Robert Vesco, the American fugitive who cooked up moneymaking schemes that allegedly involved everyone from Colombian drug lords to the families of U.S. presidents.
Vesco remained safe from U.S. justice in Cuba, which refused repeated American requests to extradite him. He died in the island nation.
Fernandez says, "So I'm not just telling you that there's no extradition. I am telling you the names of the cases that I am fully familiar with because I worked on their return, obviously involuntary return, and nothing happens."
But Fernandez says the Hakkens better have some funding if they want to stay in Cuba. "They will let you stay for nothing if you begin to advocate a position against the United States, a political position against the United States."
He adds that there's little the U.S. State Department can do to bring the Hakken family back to the U.S. "There's nothing that can be done."
President Raul Castro, Fidel Castro's brother, has sent back a few American fugitives, like Leonard B. Auerbach. Auerbach was deported to face federal charges in California of sexually abusing a Costa Rican girl and possessing child pornography.
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