The National Court considers the guarantee of the United States sufficient to be able to extradite Hugo “El Polo” Carvajal.

U.S.A.The National Court considers the guarantee of the United...

Hugo “El Polo” Carvajal was the intelligence chief of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. He was one step away from being extradited to the United States (Europa Press).

Hugo ‘El Polo’ Carvajal, the former head of Venezuela’s intelligence department, is close to being extradited to the United States by Spain. The Criminal Chamber of the National Court met this Friday and deemed the guarantees provided by the US sufficient to proceed with extradition. The United States accused the former Venezuelan military of drug trafficking, money laundering, and cooperation with the Colombian FARC.

‘El Polo’ Carvajal enters Spain March 18, 2019, He was immediately arrested and imprisoned as he was already under extradition request from the United States. While he was in prison for a month, Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro’s former head of counterintelligence requested international security.

Shortly after, and while the petition was being decided, he was released. Carvajal disappeared. It was on 9 September when the National Police, with information provided by the DEA – the United States Anti-Drug Agency – was captured in an apartment located on Torrelaguna Street in the Spanish capital.

Then the National Police reported that Carvajal lived “completely closed, without going outside or looking out the window, and always protected by trusted people,

detention activated his extradition process, which has been delayed in time due to bureaucratic damages that have arisen in recent weeks and ends with a decision that has been taken in the plenary session of the National Court of Justice today.

On October 20, a judge of Spain approved the extradition of Carvajal to the United States with 11 votes in favor and 7 votes against. When everything was ready – including an American plane in Spanish territory – to take off on Saturday 23 October, an error in the documentation halted the process.

Thus on 22 October the third division of the National Court, which cleared his expulsion, was issued. An order in which, at the request of the defense of ‘El Polo’, he recognized an error of form, corrected himself and left his decision in secret,

what was that mistake? In an order dated January 24, 2020, the “incident of voidness of the proceedings” was set aside, however, not included in the operational part of the same resolution. The order restraining the extradition explained: “Having regard to what is stated in the last paragraph of the fifth legal basis of the order dated January 24, 2020 by the Plenary of the Criminal Chamber, dismissing the occurrence of voidness of the proceedings, which is not included in its operational part for effective judicial protection, Materialization of delivery in the United States of America is suspended and send a witness copy of the defense brief and present provided to the plenary of the Chamber for the purpose of resolving it”.

To all of this, the hearing judges say, “The petition made by the defense on the basis of a request for precautionary measures before the third house of the Supreme Court remains without purpose,

On 29 October the Plenary of the Hearing corrected the error. When everything indicated that the extradition would take effect, the same day, Spanish justice decided to ask the United States for a guarantee that Carvajal would not be sentenced to life imprisonment. More clearly: it was proposed that in the event that a former military officer was extradited and sentenced to life imprisonment, “that sentence shall not be irrevocable as there is a legal framework for review or for the exercise of clemency”. “

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In the letter in response to the so-called Note Verbal 187175-EXT-2019 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, the US Embassy adds: “The United States, while taking into account the requested guarantee, is not obliged to submit to the request of the Spanish court.” Also, in this particular case the US notifies the Spanish government of the following: if Carvajal was convicted of any of the offenses contained in the indictment in case S1 11 Cr. 205 (AKH) filed on 15 April , 2019, which carries a possible sentence of life imprisonment, you will not be subject to an irreversible life sentence because if life imprisonment is imposed, the current legal framework in the United States allows you to request a review of your sentence on appeal and You can also be relieved of your sentence through a petition for pardon or a substitution of sentence for a lower sentence”.

The United States’ response to the Prosecutor’s Office came on November 17. “USA“, it read, “represents that the bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and Spain does not provide for a conditional extradition basis for obtaining guarantees relating to imprisonment for life.”

In the so-called oral note 187175-EXT-2019 to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, the arguments put forth by the US Embassy are read. while the United States […], they are not obliged to furnish the requested guarantee, considering the request of the Spanish court, the US in this particular case notifies the Government of Spain of the following: Was convicted for S1 11 Cr. 205 (AKH) filed on April 15, 2019, which carries a possible sentence of life imprisonment, you will not be subject to an irrevocable life sentence because if life imprisonment is imposed, the current legal framework in the United States allows you to appeal to request a review of his sentence and likewise, be relieved of his sentence by way of a petition for pardon or replacement of sentence for a lower sentence”.

The prosecutor in charge of the case, Francisco Javier Redondo López, a day later, in a letter dated November 18, considered “substantial guarantees” given by the United States. The prosecutor understands that even if ‘El Polo’ Carvajal is sentenced to life imprisonment “it does not mean that he will remain in prison for life, thus following the principle of our Constitutional Court, which was recently found in the STC were determined. [Sentencia del Tribunal Constitucional] From 6-10-2021.

From there, the final decision again returned to the hands of the Criminal Chamber, which today has closed—in theory—the extradition process. It is believed that in the next few hours Hugo ‘El Polo’ Carvajal will leave Spanish territory for the United States.

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