Spain’s High Court agreed Wednesday to extradite a former Venezuelan spymaster to the U.S., where he faces drug trafficking charges, although a timeline for the extradition has not been given.
The High Court said in a statement provided to Reuters it “agreed to make effective the handover of the Venezuelan officer Hugo Armando ‘el Pollo’ Carvajal to the United States after confirming that he had been denied asylum”.
Nielson Vilela, Carvajal’s lawyer, told the news service he doesn’t expect the extradition to happen immediately due to other investigations in Spain in which his client is a witness.
“We still have to decide what we will do now, which proceedings we will pursue,” Vilela said.
Carvajal left Venezuela in 2019 after anti-government protests occurred in the country and a rift formed between him and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, according to Reuters.
Carvajal, facing a narco-terrorism conspiracy charge and cocaine importing conspiracy charge in the U.S., fled to Spain, which approved his extradition in 2019.
He went into hiding and was found a month ago by Spanish police.
The U.S. is hoping Carvajal will be able to give more information about the alleged drug activities of Maduro and his regime, Reuters noted.
The news of the approved extradition in Spain follows the separate extradition of an envoy of Maduro's, Alex Saab, from Cape Verde to the U.S. on Saturday.
Venezuela has decried the extradition as kidnapping and took six American oil executives to the headquarters for the country’s national intelligence police in retaliation.