ALBANY, N.Y.—A former U.S. Marine accused of killing a couple in the Philippines said Wednesday his extradition is looming and he looks forward to finally fighting the charges.
Timothy Kaufman has been incarcerated since his arrest in April 2013 near his grandfather’s upstate New York home. He is one of three men charged by authorities in the Philippines with the 2011 killing of a retired Northern Ireland police officer and his girlfriend.
A federal magistrate in Albany ruled last year there was sufficient evidence against Kaufman for the U.S. Department of State to extradite him to the Philippines.
Kaufman, who spoke to The Associated Press by phone from a detention centre in Los Angeles, said his lawyer told him the extradition was official about a month ago. Kaufman, who had been held in New York state until recently, did not know when he would be going.
Kaufman, 36, has maintained his innocence and said he looked forward to getting to argue his case.
“I have nothing left but to fight, and I will. I will fight this until I die,” said Kaufman, who insists he was framed.
On Sept. 2, 2011, David Balmer, 54, and Elma de Guia, 26, were found dead in a bedroom in the Angeles City home of a club owner and friend of Balmer’s dating to when they joined Northern Ireland’s Royal Ulster Constabulary in the late 1970s. Eighteen spent 9mm shells were recovered from the scene.
Within three months of the killing, Kaufman and two other men were charged with two counts of murder.
Kaufman, who grew up in Tennessee, worked security and intelligence for contractors as a civilian in Iraq after he left the military, according to his family. A bulletin posted online by Philippines authorities included an ID card that indicated that in 2011 Kaufman worked as an inventory controller at a manufacturer for mobile phone cases in the Philippines.
There was no immediate comment Wednesday from the federal authorities.