Last Monday, the National Court rejected the extradition to the United States of former Venezuelan intelligence chief Hugo Armando Carvajal, considering that the request for surrender by the Washington authorities “is based on political motivation. […] within the US political strategy regarding Venezuela ”. The three magistrates recall in the car – released this Tuesday – that the “political reasons” for the petition are sufficient cause for denial of extradition, although not the only one in Carvajal’s case. The judicial brief indicates two other reasons for rejecting the delivery: that the US request at no time specifies the facts related to drug trafficking and arms trafficking that they wielded in their request to Spain and the fact that the former high-ranking official of the Hugo Chávez’s government was the military one when the alleged crimes were committed and he acted under the orders of the then Venezuelan president, which his actions would be included in the Military Penal Code, also a reason for rejection.
Carvajal, nicknamed The chicken, was the head of Chávez’s military intelligence between 2004 and 2011, and was claimed by the United States for his alleged membership of the poster of the suns – supposedly made up of high-ranking officials of the Venezuelan government – who wanted to “flood” the United States with cocaine in collaboration with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The former general is also considered a key piece in the investigations into Chavismo, having broken with the regime of Nicolás Maduro, who accused him of treason, and recognizing Juan Guaidó as interim president last February. After that, the military man went to Spain. He was arrested on April 12 in Madrid. During his confinement in the Estremera prison and during the extradition hearing, the ex-military man showed his refusal to be handed over and was willing to collaborate with the Spanish justice system.
The National Court now agrees with him in a car – which can be appealed by the prosecution, if it supported the delivery – considering that the petition should be rejected for three reasons. In the first place, because the request did not meet the requirement of specifying the facts of which Carvajal is accused. “It is not specified what specific acts of a criminal nature were carried out by the person in question today, who is identified as the deputy director of the Military Intelligence of Venezuela,” the magistrates emphasize in the order, who emphasize that the description that the US authorities “is orphan of determination, both locally and temporarily “even in the only accusation of drug trafficking that provides some information. Specifically, the alleged transport of 5.6 tons of cocaine from Venezuela to Mexico by plane, without further specifying the dates. The order recalls that this specification is a requirement for the application of the Spain-US extradition treaty.
In addition, the National High Court considers that the surrender should also be rejected because the acts alleged against him were allegedly committed when Carvajal was a military man and director of the Intelligence Service. The order emphasizes that, therefore, they would fit within a military crime, ground for denial of extradition. “The conduct that the North American authorities impute to Hugo Armando Carvajal refers ‘undoubtedly to the exercise of the military intelligence service’ of which he was deputy director and director, within the strategy directed by the presidency of the Republic [de Hugo Chávez] to, in coordination with the FARC, attack US interests by transporting large amounts of cocaine to the United States, “the car picks up.
Finally, the magistrates consider that “the claim is based on a political motivation when demanding the surrender of Hugo Armando Carvajal for his condition as former director of the military intelligence services during the presidencies of Chávez and [Nicolás] Maduro, within the US political strategy regarding Venezuela ”. Some “political reasons” that, according to the judicial brief, are also sufficient reason to deny the extradition of the former Venezuelan general. The resolution concludes that there is still an appeal before the Plenary of the Criminal Chamber of the National High Court.