European court denies effort by Venezuela ex-official to avoid US extradition

CARACAS, July 13 (Reuters) – The European Court of Human Rights has denied an effort by a former director of Venezuelan military intelligence, wanted on drug trafficking charges by the United States, to avoid extradition from Spain.

The United States in 2020 accused Hugo Carvajal – who was late President Hugo Chavez’s eyes and ears within Venezuela’s military for more than a decade – of drug trafficking, along with more than a dozen other high-ranking officials including current President Nicolas Maduro.

Carvajal was arrested in September 2021 at a Madrid apartment by Spanish police and is being held in Estremera, outside of the capital. He has denied supporting cocaine trafficking to the United States.

“Mr Carvajal Barrios had failed to demonstrate that he would be at real risk of being sentenced to life imprisonment without parole … therefore (we) found the application to be manifestly ill-founded,” the court said in a statement, adding its decision was final.

“As he had not yet been tried, it was difficult to ascertain the outcome, but the court was satisfied that he would be tried in a legal system respectful of the rule of law and principles of a fair trial, in which he would have full opportunity to mount a defense with the help of legal representation,” it added.

“We are very disappointed by this decision,” Carvajal’s lawyer, Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, said in an email. “I don’t think the European Court really understood the consequences of charging a man in his 60s with crimes carrying a mandatory minimum term of five decades in prison under federal law, which amounts to an irreducible life sentence.”

“In any event, General Carvajal is looking forward to clearing his name in an American court,” Margulis-Ohnuma added.

Venezuela’s ruling party managed to free Carvajal when he was first arrested in Aruba in 2014, but he fled to Spain in 2021 after distancing himself from the government and backing an opposition leader.

Reporting by Luc Cohen and Vivian Sequera; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Conor Humphries and Sandra Maler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source link

Related Articles

[td_block_social_counter facebook="tagdiv" twitter="tagdivofficial" youtube="tagdiv" style="style8 td-social-boxed td-social-font-icons" tdc_css="eyJhbGwiOnsibWFyZ2luLWJvdHRvbSI6IjM4IiwiZGlzcGxheSI6IiJ9LCJwb3J0cmFpdCI6eyJtYXJnaW4tYm90dG9tIjoiMzAiLCJkaXNwbGF5IjoiIn0sInBvcnRyYWl0X21heF93aWR0aCI6MTAxOCwicG9ydHJhaXRfbWluX3dpZHRoIjo3Njh9" custom_title="Stay Connected" block_template_id="td_block_template_8" f_header_font_family="712" f_header_font_transform="uppercase" f_header_font_weight="500" f_header_font_size="17" border_color="#dd3333"]

Latest Articles