(CBS) - A Florida couple reported to be in Cuba with their two kidnapped sons probably will not be extradited back to the United States where the children would return to the custody of their grandmother, a Tampa lawyer told CBS affiliate WTSP.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office received information that the Hakken family had arrived in the island nation, authorities said Monday. It wasn't immediately clear what authorities could do to retrieve the family from Cuba.
But South Tampa attorney Ralph Fernandez said the U.S. can do "absolutely nothing" because Cuba does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S.
"There's nothing that can be done," Fernandez said.
Police said Joshua Hakken allegedly entered his mother-in-law's house on April 3, tied her up and fled with his sons, 4-year-old Cole and 2-year-old Chase.
Fernandez spoke to WTSP on Monday, drawing examples from Joanne Chesimard, a Black Liberation Army leader who killed a New Jersey trooper in 1973 and continues to reside in Cuba despite extradition attempts.
Fernandez also gave his firsthand account about unsuccessful extradition attempts regarding Robert Vesco, an American financier accused of moneymaking schemes who eluded the U.S. justice system until he died in Cuba in 2007.
"So I'm not just telling you that there's no extradition," Fernandez told WTSP. "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."Now investigators are working with the FBI and the U.S. State Department to verify reports that the Hakken family arrived in Cuba, according to The Associated Press.
Fernandez said that if the reports are true, then the Hakken family will need funding in order 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," Fernandez said.