Honduran judge approves extradition of former President Hernandez to the United States on drug charges

A Honduran judge on Wednesday allowed the extradition of former President Juan Orlando Hernandez to the United States on drug and firearms smuggling charges, a decision his defense said would appeal.

The decision was announced via the Twitter account of the Central American country’s judiciary.

Juez de Primera Instancia otorga la solicitud de Extradición que involucra a el Ex Presidente Hernández Alvarado. pic.twitter.com/SSdXBHs9ob

– Poder Judicial HN (PJdeHonduras) March 17, 2022 “We will file an appeal to try to avoid extradition,” Hernandez’s defense attorney, Felix Avila, told reporters outside court.

US authorities have charged the former right-wing leader with participating in a drug smuggling scheme between 2004 and 2022. Hernandez, 53, is also accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes to protect drug smugglers from investigation and prosecution, and of carrying, using, or aiding and abetting the use of weapons.

Hernandez, who was replaced by leftist President Xiomara Castro in his place as president in January after eight years in office, has denied any wrongdoing.

He has been detained since mid-February when he was arrested after a dramatic altercation that saw him hiding in his home surrounded by police. And he left hours later, pledging to cooperate with the authorities.


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