MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s High Court on Friday said it had suspended the extradition of former Venezuelan spymaster Hugo Carvajal to the United States, where he faces drug-trafficking charges, after he appealed before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
“In view of the communication received from the European Court of Human Rights (…) it has been agreed to suspend the execution of the extradition order of the defendant, Hugo Armando Carvajal Barrios,” the High Court said in a short statement.
The court agreed to extradite Carvajal last October after he was denied asylum in Spain.
The extradition never took place because he requested asylum again, a move that the Spanish court in January described as a “clearly abusive manoeuvre” aimed at stalling the process.
U.S. officials believe Carvajal, Venezuela’s former military intelligence chief, could provide a treasure trove of information on the suspected drug activities of President Nicolas Maduro and his associates. Maduro denies wrongdoing.
A former general and close ally of the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, Carvajal was re-arrested by Spanish police in September 2021 after hiding for nearly two years following an initial extradition order in late 2019.
(Reporting by Emma Pinedo; Editing by Nathan Allen and Nick Macfie)