Former Venezuelan spymaster to be jailed in Spain pending transfer to US

FILE PHOTO: Former Venezuelan intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal leaves prison after being freed in Estremera
FILE PHOTO: Former Venezuelan intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal released from prison after being released in Estremera
FILE PHOTO: Former Venezuelan intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal is released from prison after being released in Estremera, Spain, September 16, 2019.REUTERS/Javier Barbancho

September 10, 2021

MADRID (Reuters) – Former Venezuelan military intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal, who was arrested on Thursday in Madrid after hiding for nearly two years, will be jailed for extradition to the United States, Spain’s High Court said on Friday. Said to

US investigators have charged Carvajal, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez with narco-terrorism and drug trafficking, accusing him and others, including President Nicolas Maduro, of running a cocaine cartel. Both he and Maduro have denied the allegations.

After the High Court approved Carvajal’s extradition in late 2019, he went into hiding.

On Thursday, Spanish police and the US Drug Enforcement Administration tracked him down to a house on the outskirts of Madrid and broke down an armor-plated door to find him inside.

According to police, nicknamed “El Pollo” (The Chicken), Carvajal was changing his hiding place every three months and leading a completely isolated life, not going out or even looking out the window. Had been.

He underwent several operations to modify his appearance and the police said he had found fake mustaches, beards and wigs at home.

Carvajal’s lawyer in Spain, María Dolores de Argueles, said Carvajal had filed a request for asylum in Spain, which could delay his extradition.

Neither Spain’s justice ministry nor the US embassy in Madrid immediately responded to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Emma Pinedo with additional reporting by Nathan Allen; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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