(CNN Spanish) — The National Court of Spain has agreed this Friday to extend the provisional detention of Hugo Armando Carvajal, former director of Intelligence of Venezuela, up to the maximum limit of four years (April 1, 2025) considering that there is a high risk of flight, according to with information that a spokesperson for the National Court provided to CNN.
This is stated in the order issued by the magistrates of the Third Section of the Criminal Chamber and to which CNN has had access, where they recall that on previous occasions they have denied his release since his whereabouts remained unknown for almost two years and after receiving an extradition request from the United States, where he is requested for charges related to drug trafficking.
CNN tries to contact Carvajal’s lawyer to obtain a reaction to the measure of the National Court.
The journey of his process began on April 12, 2019, when the retired general was arrested in Madrid for the first time on charges brought against him by the US justice: alleged drug-terrorist conspiracy, possession of weapons and drug trafficking.
As reported at the time by the US Department of Justice, if found guilty of these crimes, the former Venezuelan official could spend between 60 years in prison and life in prison. Carvajal has always declared his innocence and claims to be the target of political persecution. During this time, the legal process suffered several ups and downs. In September 2019, the Third Criminal Section of the National Court of Spain rejected, in the first instance, the delivery of him.
Two months later, following an appeal filed by the Spanish Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office, the Plenary of the Criminal Chamber of the National Court revoked the decision and accepted his extradition. Carvajal then decided to escape, but in September 2021 he was captured by the Spanish National Police.
As the National Court recalls, his extradition was approved “by the government on March 3, 2020 and by order of November 26, 2021, confirmed on March 20, 2022, the guarantees requested from the United States authorities have been declared sufficient. in relation to life imprisonment.
However, his surrender was suspended after it was agreed on March 25, 2022 by the European Court of Human Rights, the body before which his defense filed an appeal to avoid extradition.
Source: CNN Espanol