Sources familiar with the proceedings in Spain have told the Associated Press that the Spanish National Court on Friday reversed, on appeal, the decision to discharge Major General Hugo Carvajal and ordered his extradition to the US.
Maj. Gen. Carvajal, who served as military intelligence chief for several years under Hugo Chávez, the former Venezuelan leader and subsequently served as a lawmaker in the ruling Socialist party before a fallout with the current leader Nicolás Maduro, is wanted in the US to face charges of drug trafficking.
Maj. Gen. Carvajal was arrested in Spain in April 2019 in response to a US extradition request stemming from a 2011 indictment filed in New York accusing Maj. Gen Carvajal of coordinating the transport of more than 5.6 tonnes of cocaine from Venezuela to Mexico, while on its way to the US. On 16 September 2019 Spain’s highest criminal court (“Audiencia National”) rejected the US request, declaring it to be politically motivated, and ordered his release.
Spanish media reported that Friday’s reversal split the vote of the court 11-7.
Before the extradition can take place, the Spanish Cabinet needs to provide approval. An appeal against the order for extradition may lie to Spain’s Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights.