Rep. Boccieri On Lochte: Brazil Must Honor U.S. Laws Before We Acknowledge Theirs
Brazil has summoned the Olympic swimmer back to the country to testify for falsely reporting a crime
 
 

State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) said today that the recent events surrounding Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s charge of falsely reporting a crime illustrate inconsistencies in U.S. –  Brazilian relations. Yesterday, Brazil announced it was summoning the 12-time Olympic medalist back to Rio for legal processing after Lochte lied about the details of an altercation he had with police the morning of August 14 at a local gas station. 


“Lochte's actions were juvenile,” Rep. Boccieri said. “What he did at that gas station doesn't represent the values we expect from our Olympic ambassadors. But Brazil has some nerve to summon one of our athletes when they are harboring a known fugitive who killed a decorated Air Force Pilot.” 


Brazil has yet to release Claudia Hoerig to the U.S. to stand trial for her murder of U.S. Air Force Reserve pilot Major Karl D. Hoerig in 2007. After the major was shot in March of that year, Ms. Hoerig fled to her native country of Brazil, where she has avoided extradition for almost a decade due to a provision in the Brazilian constitution. Then-U.S. Congressman Boccieri and U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan led exhaustive efforts to extradite Ms. Hoerig in the 111th Congress, working with State Department officials and passing language in the foreign relations bill that admonished the Brazilian government for harboring a known fugitive. 


HR 2410, The Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, called on the Brazilian government to extradite Ms. Hoerig, who was wanted in the U.S. for murder. Since that time, Congressman Ryan and Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins were what Rep. Boccieri deemed “unbreakable” in their pursuit of justice and efforts to continue the fight through resolutions and federal legislation. 


Ms. Hoerig’s extradition request was pending before the Superior Tribunal of Justice, the highest appellate court in Brazil for non-constitutional questions of federal law, as well as the Supremo Tribunal Federal, which is the equivalent of the U.S. Supreme Court. 


“If I were U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, I would tell Brazil that they should honor our laws before we can acknowledge their laws,” Rep. Boccieri concluded. 


Lochte has been summoned to Rio to testify on his false crime report, but only if he refuses to appear in court will the government have to decide whether they want to pursue extradition. 


Major Hoerig was a decorated combat veteran who flew with the 773rd Airlift Squadron. Rep. Boccieri, also a personal friend of the major’s, flew many missions with him at the 910 Airlift Wing.

 
 
 
  
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