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Honduran Splendid Court docket Ratifies U.S. Extradition Request of …

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — The Honduran Splendid Court docket ratified on Monday the US’ extradition request for former President Juan Orlando Hernández, atmosphere the level for what may just develop into the very best profile drug trafficking case in New York for the reason that trial of the Mexican cartel leader Joaquín Guzmán, referred to as El Chapo.

In a unanimous ruling, the courtroom rejected a movement from Mr. Hernández’s legal professionals to dam the extradition request filed in February by way of the US. The verdict exhausted the previous president’s ultimate felony recourse to steer clear of dealing with trial out of the country.

U.S. officers have accused Mr. Hernández, who stepped down in January after his celebration suffered an awesome defeat within the November common election, of colluding with drug cartels to send heaps of cocaine to the US in go back for monetary enhance for his political celebration, consistent with the extradition request.

U.S. officers say that underneath Mr. Hernández, Honduras has emerged as one of the most biggest medication transit hubs in Latin The united states and that the previous president allowed cartels to penetrate the very best echelons of his nation’s executive.

Collusion with cartels has worsened Honduras’ already power corruption and undermined its democracy, contributing to mass migration from Honduras and contributing to Mr. Hernández’s party’s loss at the polls ultimate yr.

His successor, Xiomara Castro, has promised to overtake what she known as a “narco state” constructed by way of Mr. Hernández.

Honduran law enforcement officials surrounded the home of the previous president on Feb. 15, simply mins after Ms. Castro’s officers stated they gained the extradition request.

The former president was led from his home in shackles later that day, stunning a Central American country conversant in officers working with impunity. As spontaneous celebrations broke out that night time, within the capital, Tegucigalpa, Ms. Castro’s supporters chanted, “Juancho goes to New York,” calling Mr. Hernández by way of his nickname.

Whilst Ms. Castro has moved impulsively in opposition to officers within the former management who have been implicated in crimes, she has to this point proven little want to punish allies, darkening the belief of her anti-corruption guarantees, stated Honduran analysts.

In a handwritten letter launched by way of Mr. Hernández’s spouse on social media on Monday, Mr. Hernández wrote that he’s an blameless sufferer of revenge by way of the drug cartels, whose extradited contributors made false statements to U.S. prosecutors to punish him for his battle in opposition to arranged crime.

The letter additionally conveyed his resignation to a long run in jail. “I conclude that by way of dealing with 3 lifestyles sentences, I may just develop into a strolling lifeless,” he wrote.

The extradition request, introduced to Honduras’s Splendid Court docket and observed by way of The New York Occasions, claims that Mr. Hernández participated in a “violent drug-trafficking conspiracy” that since 2004 has transported 500 heaps of cocaine from Venezuela and Colombia to the US by means of Honduras. The report claims that Mr. Hernández gained tens of millions of bucks in bribes for facilitating the shipments and shielding traffickers from prosecution.

The former president’s brother, Juan Antonio Hernández, is serving a lifestyles sentence in the US for cocaine trafficking. Some other convicted cocaine trafficker who implicated the previous president, Geovanny Fuentes, received a life sentence earlier this year.

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