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The National Court of Justice again refuses to release “El Pollo” Carvajal: “The risk of flight is increasing”

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The defense makes his “prison habit” ugly in court, but the Chamber replies that he has previously evaded the judiciary’s suit


The National Supreme Court has again agreed to deny the request for the provisional release of former Venezuelan intelligence chief Hugo ‘El Pollo’ Carvajal, arguing that his case was not a “prison practice” by the Trial Chamber on extradition , but because his extradition to the USA depends solely on the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), “the risk of absconding undoubtedly increases”.

This is how the Third Section of the Trial Chamber is responding to Carvajal’s defense’s appeal in which he insisted on his provisional release pending the ECtHR’s decision on his case. He mentioned that the “Catalan independence fighters” were released by courts in countries such as Belgium, Italy, Ireland and Switzerland pending judicial decisions, but the National Supreme Court did not comment on this settlement.

In the resolution, accessed by Europa Press, the court considers that Carvajal’s defense ignores his procedural situation and the status of the extradition proceedings, and reminds him that the extradition decision is final, both judicially and administratively.

He considers this fact relevant to assessing the risk of absconding, especially when there are “certain dates” and that Carvajal previously evaded justice, “having only realized his availability to them almost two years after ordering his search and capture.” “. He accuses the defense of “disregarding” this relevant fact in his letter.


Regarding the possibility put forward by the defense that Carvajal would be located by telematic means such as a bracelet while he remained in provisional detention, the court points out that the order of January 12 already stated that it was not possible to replace the prison with another measures “when there has already been an escape for almost two years” and since it is a person “who has the knowledge and means to withdraw from the proceedings in freedom and therefore a to avoid surrender”.

The Chamber also, assuming that the right of defense is not violated by his remaining in prison, draws on the case-law relating to the Belt case to recall that restricting communication with the counsel, because he is in prison, “does not mean that there is a violation of his right of defense”.

In his appeal, the defense had embarrassed the Trial Chamber for not allowing his liberty and accused the court of maintaining a “prison practice” in extradition cases like his, saying they violated the exceptional principle of preventive detention.

For this reason, he also requested the court to convene a public hearing for both the defense and the prosecution to substantiate their arguments. To which the Chamber replies that this is not the case because the Law on Criminal Procedure (LECrim) allows for said possibility “in cases where the contested decision stipulates the provisional provisional detention of one of the identified persons” and this is not the case because only “one of the many applications for provisional release” is rejected.


The former head of military counterintelligence with Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro is being prosecuted in the US for events that took place between 1999 and 2019 when he was believed to be part of the so-called “Cartel of the Suns”, a criminal organization allegedly run by ” Chavista’ alleges that he imported large quantities of drugs into the United States with the alleged collaboration of the FARC and other armed groups.

“El Pollo” has been in the hands of Spanish authorities since September 9, when he was arrested by the National Police during a joint operation with the US DEA at a Madrid apartment where, it was reported at the time, he was “completely withdrawn” lived the security authority.

His arrest reactivated extradition proceedings to the United States, which were approved in 2020 but failed because Carvajal fled in November 2019, although his defense emphasizes that he never left Spain.

Before fleeing, Carvajal applied for an initial asylum on the grounds that he had been politically persecuted because the US authorities had placed him in Maduro’s circle of trust.

That first application was denied in 2019, but he had no formal knowledge of it until last September. He then responded by trying unsuccessfully to get Interior to reverse his decision.

Carvajal filed a second asylum application, highlighting the “collaboration process” with the Spanish judiciary that began after his arrest and led to the reopening of a case filed in 2016 over alleged illegal funding of Podemos.


Source europapress.es

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