Spain’s Supreme Court said on Friday it had suspended the extradition of former Venezuelan spy chief Hugo ‘El Pollo’ Carvajal to the United States, where he faces drug charges, after he appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.
“Given account, by receiving communication from the European Court of Human Rights, (…) the suspension of the execution of the extradition order of the claimed Hugo Armando Carvajal Barrios is agreed by virtue of article 39 of its Regulations,” said the Third Section of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court in a brief statement.
The court agreed to extradition de Carvajal last October after he was denied asylum in Spain.
The extradition was never carried out because he requested asylum again, a maneuver that the Spanish court described in January as “clearly dilatory and abusive” in order to paralyze the process.
US authorities believe that Carvajal, who was head of Venezuela’s military intelligence, could provide a lot of information on the alleged drug trafficking activities of President Nicolás Maduro and his associates. Maduro denies having acted incorrectly.
A former general and close ally of the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez, Carvajal was once again arrested by the Spanish police in September 2021, after having been in hiding for almost two years following a first extradition order at the end of 2019.