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Judge Ortez granted an hour and a half to analyze the indictments filed by U.S. federal prosecutors, including two sworn statements made by an attorney and a DEA agent.
On Wednesday, Honduras’ Supreme Court Judge Edwin Ortez started the evidence hearing against former President Juan Orlando Hernandez (2014-2022), whom the U.S. accuses of drug trafficking and weapon use charges.
Ortez granted an hour and a half to analyze the indictments filed by U.S. federal prosecutors, including two sworn statements made by an attorney and an agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
After reviewing this evidence, Ortez will decide whether Hernandez should be extradited to the U.S. to face the charges against him. Carlos Silva, a spokesperson for the Supreme Court, said that the resolution would take between three and seven days.
On Feb. 14, a New York court accused Hernandez of plotting to export 500,000 kilograms of cocaine to the United States, advocating firearms use, and financing his political campaigns in collaboration with international drug gangs.
#IWD2022 Miriam Miranda fights to protect the land, environment, and livelihoods of the Garífuna people of Honduras. She calls to deepen awareness in our contexts and social movements, and to hold those guilty to account. pic.twitter.com/S0VPvT845r
The Honduran Police and DEA officers arrested Hernandez at his residence in Tegucigalpa a day after the Supreme Court accepted the extradition request over him.
On Feb. 16, Hernandez appeared before Ortez at a first informative hearing, in which the judge reviewed the charges and ruled that he should remain in pre-trial detention until he determines to extradite him or not.
The former President has collaborated throughout the process. However, he continues to deny the charges against him by alleging that they are part of a vengeance plot involving drug traffickers whom his government apprehended and extradited to the United States.