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Congressman Tim Ryan said the Department of Defense needs to reconsider awarding a Brazilian company a $1 billion contract in light of the extradition controversy surrounding a wanted murder suspect in Trumbull County.
Ryan, D-Niles, is continuing to fight to bring Claudia Hoerig back to the United States to stand trial for the 2007 murder of Air Force Reservist Karl Hoerig in Newton Falls. Hoerig is accused in the murder but fled to her native Brazil after the crime.
“We want to know why the Defense Department is granting such a huge contract to the Brazilians at the same time the Brazilians are thumbing their nose at the State Department,” said Ryan.
Ryan believes the contract is rewarding bad behavior because of Brazil’s refusal to extradite Hoerig, even though she is an American citizen.
Ryan has asked Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to review the contract.
“To make sure the Brazilians know that we will be meeting them at every turn in which they try to do business here in the United States or with American companies,” said Ryan.
Ryan drafted legislation earlier this year to suspend aid to Brazil and to cease issuing visas to other Brazilian nationals. While he’s still gathering support for that bill in D.C., Ryan has the support of Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins.
“Unless Brazil recognizes the right to the United States of American to pursue fugitives from justice to their country, until that time comes, the United States needs to do what Congressman Ryan and others are trying to do,” said Watkins.
Hagel’s staff told Ryan’s office they will look into the issue.