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Ex-Venezuelan intelligence chief jailed in Spain pending decision on U.S. extradition
JC News|April. 13, 2019
MADRID (Reuters) - Hugo Carvajal, a former Venezuelan military intelligence chief who Washington believes has valuable information on President Nicolas Maduro, was jailed on Saturday by Spain's High Court pending a decision on an extradition request to the United States, a court spokesman said.
A former general and close ally of former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, Carvajal was arrested by Spanish police on Friday on a U.S. warrant for drug trafficking charges.
During the hearing, Carvajal denied links with drug trafficking and Colombia's FARC rebel group and challenged his potential extradition to the United States, the spokesman said.
The United States must now formalise its extradition request, which will be ruled upon by the High Court.
The U.S. Justice Department said on Friday it had requested Carvajal’s extradition on cocaine smuggling charges filed in 2011 and unsealed in 2014.
Carvajal was previously sanctioned by the U.S. government in 2008 for "materially assisting the narcotics trafficking activities" of Colombia's FARC rebel group.
A U.S. administration official told Reuters on Friday that Carvajal has valuable information on Maduro and is willing to cooperate.
(Reporting by Miguel Gutierrez, Editing by Jane Merriman and Angus MacSwan)
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