Sunday, September 25, 2022

Former Honduras President Hernandez to US. extradited

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras ( Associated Press) — Honduras extradited former President Juan Orlando Hernández to the United States on Thursday to face drug trafficking and weapons charges in a dramatic reversal for a leader who was once a US leader. was by the authorities as a major ally in the War on Drugs.

Just three months after leaving office, Hernandez boarded a plane with agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration bound for the United States, where he faced charges in the Southern District of New York.

Hernandez was arrested from his home in Tegucigalpa in February at the request of US officials. They were fettered and paraded in front of journalists, a sight that many Hondurans had never imagined to see.

Honduran authorities have said that the three charges Hernandez will face in the US are conspiracy to import and distribute drugs into the United States, use of firearms in support of conspiracy to commit drug smuggling, and drug trafficking. In support there is a conspiracy to use firearms.

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The Supreme Court of Honduras rejected his appeal for a judge’s decision in favor of extradition.

US prosecutors have accused Hernandez of fueling his political rise with drug traffickers’ money. The payment was made in exchange for Honduran authorities allowing them to operate or for information allowing them to avoid interference.

Hernandez has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. In a video message released on Thursday, he said, “I am innocent; injustice has been done to me and injustice is being done to me.”

He has said that he is a victim of drug traffickers whom he extradited who are now lying to seek revenge.

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Hernandez’s brother Tony Hernandez, a former congressman, was sentenced in the same US court to life in prison on essentially the same charges.

Juan Orlando Hernández took office in January 2014 and remained in the presidency until this January, when Xiomara Castro was sworn in as his replacement. Castro campaigned to end corruption in Honduras, and Hernández was seen as the biggest target.

Hernandez’s transport by helicopter from the police base under heavy security, where he was held at the airport on Thursday, was covered live by local television outlets.

Some Hondurans stood outside the perimeter fence of the airport to catch a glimpse of the former president boarding the plane with US officials.

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Nation World News Desk
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