Ziad Akl, brother of Elias Akl, the Canadian-Lebanese national murdered last May 15, in front of a school in Escazú, remains in the custody of the Dirección de Migración y Extranjería – immigration service – after he was released on Friday from preventive detention.


Ziad Akl was detained at the San Jose airport by officers of the Air Surveillance Service hours after his brother was murdered. Photo Ministerio de Seguridad Pública (MSP)

The Pavas criminal court imposed the immigration detention for Akl, in the expectation that he will be deported.


The Minister of Public Security, Gustavo Mata, said he will ask judicial officials to empower the immigration service to proceed with immediate deportation, rather than keep him in the country for a trial on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping,, extortion and home invasion.

“The fact that he would be deported immediately and that he is not in the country is a palliative measure in the face of the increase in violence in the country, knowing the way in which these brothers operated. I respect the judicial criterion, but I do not share it,” Mata said.

Ziad Akl was arrested by officers of the Air Surveillance Service (SVA) at the Juan Santamaría airport the same day his brother was killed in Guachipelin de San Rafael de Escazu, along with a bodyguard. A young boy, a student at the school, was injured.

That day, Ziad Akl, with no luggage and carrying only his passport and cellular phone, intended to leave Costa Rica by boarding a flight for El Salvador and bound for New York.

According to Costa Rica migratory movements, Ziad Akl first entered the country on April 17, 2015, and to May 2017 (his arrest) he had numerous comings and goings.

In addition to pending cases in our country, Canadian media reported that the Akl brothers were wanted in that country following a violent dispute in a bar in Laval, Quebec, in December 2009, later fleeing Canada.

In Costa Rica, Akl brothers were alleged to be involved in money laundering, drug trafficking and loan sharking.

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