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Besides reviewing Hernandez’s charges, Judge Ortez will determine whether he should remain in pre-trial detention at the National Directorate of Special Forces or in another detention center.
After the United States requested his extradition for drug trafficking and weapon use charges, Honduras’ former President Juan Orlando Hernandez (2014-2022) will appear on Wednesday before the Supreme Court Judge Edwin Ortez.
Besides reviewing Hernandez’s charges, Ortez will determine at this hearing whether the ex-president should remain in pre-trial detention at the facilities of the National Directorate of Special Forces (DNFE) or another detention center.
The Honduran Police and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents arrested Hernandez at his home in Tegucigalpa on Tuesday after the Supreme Court agreed to consider Washington’s extradition request over him.
The police operation was carried out under established protocols. Although Hernandez collaborated in the process, he continues to deny the charges against him.
US-supported president whose rise was greased by a US-supported coup is now being arrested in order to be extradited to the... US.
Juan Orlando Hernández was Washington's stooge in Honduras. Now that he's no longer useful, he's being discarded. Standard.pic.twitter.com/U6wEDSHIoy
A New York court accuses Hernandez of conspiring to export 500,000 kilograms of cocaine to the United States, promoting the use of firearms, and financing his political campaigns in association with international drug cartels.
His extradition process could last up to four months given that he will have to appear at another evidentiary hearing in March and the judge’s ruling in this audience allows an appeal. So far, 27 Hondurans have been extradited to the U.S. for drug trafficking, including Hernandez’s brother Antonio, a former legislator who was sentenced to life imprisonment for this crime.
"I hope the former President’s detention be a warning for other officials who have links with organized crime," Security Minister Ramon Sabillon stated and welcomed President Xiomara Castro’s willingness to fight organized crime.