Honduras Allow Ex-president Extradition to U.S

A Honduran Supreme Court judge has authorized the extradition of former president Juan Orlando Hernández to the US to face charges on drug trafficking and firearms, a decision his defense lawyers said they would appeal.

“We are going to file an appeal to try to avoid extradition,” Felix Avila, a defense attorney for Hernandez, told journalists outside the court.

Police arrested Hernández at his home in the capital Tegucigalpa last month in response to a US extradition request that came just weeks after he left office. 

Hernandez was named a co-conspirator in a drug case against his brother, jailed last year.

Hernandez has denied all charges, including involvement in a violent drug trafficking conspiracy for 18 years to ship cocaine to the US and take bribes. 

Meanwhile, there was a growing concern over whether the court, whose judges were appointed while Hernández was president, would grant this one. 

“Extradition is a brutal mirror that reflects dangerous criminals and a dead and corrupt justice system… that’s the image we’re seeing revealed tonight,” Gabriela Castellanos, Director of the National Anticorruption Council, wrote in Spanish on Twitter. 

Hernández would be the first former Latin American leader to be arrested and face extradition to the US on drug trafficking charges. 

Analysts have warned that drug money has infiltrated deep into Honduran politics, leading US prosecutors and many local politicians to label the country a “narco-state.”

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