(Tegucigalpa) Honduras intends to extradite former president Juan Orlando Hernandez between April 20 and 22 to the United States, where he is to be tried for drug trafficking, the security minister said on Wednesday.
“At the start of next week, we will meet to make the necessary arrangements” for the return to the United States “between Wednesday and Friday” of the former president, in power between 2014 and 2022, Ramon Sabillon told the station. local Radio America.
This announcement comes the day after the signature by the fifteen magistrates of the plenary assembly of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) of a judgment ratifying the decision to extradite the former president, adopted by a judge of first instance on 16 March.
With those documents in order, the judge “ordered the immediate surrender of Juan Orlando Hernandez” to the United States, said Lucía Villars, spokesperson for the CSJ.
Justice has informed the executive of the need to proceed with the extradition, requested by the court for the Southern District of New York.
The United States asked Honduras on February 14 to extradite Mr. Hernandez, accused of “violent conspiracy to traffic drugs […] The conspiracy transported approximately 500,000 kilograms of cocaine from Honduras to the United States,” even before he was president.
The former president had since been held in a police barracks known as “Los Cobras” in eastern Tegucigalpa.
The defense unsuccessfully appealed the judicial extradition decision to the Supreme Court, then tried to prevent his extradition with an appeal which was also rejected.
Former national police chief Juan Carlos “Tigre” Bonilla, captured on March 9 and accused by the United States of “supervising” Mr. Hernandez’s drug trafficking operations, is also awaiting extradition.
“Tony” Hernandez, former congressman and brother of the former president, is serving a life sentence in the United States, also for drug trafficking.