Spain gained't extradite Venezuela's ex-spymaster to US

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s Nationwide Courtroom on Monday rejected the extradition to the USA of a former Venezuelan navy spy chief accused of drug smuggling and different fees.

The court docket launched retired Maj. Gen. Hugo Carvajal, who denies the fees and says that they have been politically motivated.

He instructed reporters exterior the jail after the ruling that he intends to stay in Spain.

The court docket was anticipated to situation its written ruling later, in keeping with a court docket spokesman who wasn’t approved to be recognized by identify in media stories.

María Dolores Argüelles, a lawyer for Carvajal, mentioned she had no fast particulars of the ruling past {that a} launch order had been issued for the retired common. She didn’t know what Carvajal’s plans can be as soon as out of jail.

The U.S. embassy in Madrid had no fast touch upon the ruling.

Carvajal headed Venezuela’s navy intelligence company for greater than a decade and was a detailed aide to former Venezuelan chief, Hugo Chávez. Earlier this 12 months, he fled to Spain after publicly supporting the opposition’s efforts to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

At a court docket listening to Thursday in Madrid, his legal professionals claimed the U.S. sought the extradition as a result of the data Carvajal has from controlling the secrets and techniques of Venezuela’s armed forces for therefore lengthy had the potential to topple the present Venezuelan authorities.

Spanish and U.S. officers, nevertheless, have forged doubts on Carvajal’s claims to carry data that might be at present related, as he was demoted and retired shortly after Maduro got here to energy in 2013.

The previous common was arrested in Aruba in 2014 on one other drug warrant, however authorities within the Dutch Caribbean island rejected extraditing him to the U.S. and despatched him again to Caracas.

Prosecutors in New York say Carvajal ought to face trial for “narcoterrorism.” Investigators with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Company say he used his submit to coordinate the smuggling of round 5.6 tons of cocaine from Venezuela to Mexico in 2006. He allegedly additionally used weapons to realize his targets and aided and guarded Colombian guerrillas, in keeping with unsealed U.S. court docket paperwork.

When Carvajal publicly backed Maduro’s opponents earlier this 12 months, he fled to Madrid, the place Spanish intelligence officers initially welcomed him. However police arrested the previous spy chief in mid-April after the U.S. issued a drug warrant.


Parra reported from London.

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