Second Mexican judge backs US Chapo extradition

2016-05-16 22:41
A January 2016 police hand-out picture of "El Chapo" Guzman. (AFP)

A January 2016 police hand-out picture of "El Chapo" Guzman. (AFP)

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Mexico City - A Mexican judge has approved a second US extradition request for drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, officials said on Monday, giving the government about a month to confirm the decision.

A Mexico City judge ruled in favour of the request, based on drug trafficking, money laundering and murder charges lodged in a US federal court in Texas, the Judicial Council said in a statement.

The foreign ministry now has 20 working days to decide whether to extradite the Sinaloa drug cartel kingpin, and his lawyers would then have 30 days to file an appeal.

Earlier this month, a judge endorsed an extradition request based on cocaine charges in California, but the foreign ministry has yet to issue a decision on that ruling.

Guzman's lawyer has vowed to fight extradition unless US authorities negotiate good prison conditions for his client.

But a US government official has told AFP that there would be no deals made with Guzman and that US authorities expect the extradition to happen in several months, or by the end of the year.

Guzman, who has escaped twice from maximum-security prisons, was unexpectedly transferred on May 7 from a lock-up near Mexico City to a penitentiary in Ciudad Juarez, at the US border.

His transfer raised speculation that his extradition was imminent, but Mexican authorities said it was due to security upgrades at the Altiplano prison, from where Guzman had escaped in July 2015 before his recapture in January.

Read more on:    joaquin guzman  |  mexico  |  narcotics

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