Facing a slew of drug trafficking charges in the United States, Honduras’ former President Juan Orlando Hernandez will appear before a judge in Tegucigalpa on Wednesday who will decide to son comes out following son arrest by the Honduran authorities at the request of Washington.
Hernandez turned himself in to police on Tuesday, hours after the judge – whose name the authorities withhold for son own protection – issued a warrant for his arrest.
the former the president is wanted in United States over claims to have facilitated the traffic of 500 tons of cocaine.
In power for eight years until three weeks ago, when leftist Xiomara Castro was sworn in in like honduras first president, Hernandez spent Tuesday evening in the guard of the police special forces.
The 53-year-former right-wing politician, who served twice in a row terms clouded by corruption charges, was arrested hours home earlier house in the capital Tegucigalpa by Honduran police in coordination with US agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration.
He offered no resistance, allowing officers to cuff his hands and feet and fit him out in a bulletproof vest.
Dozens of people with banners famous outside at Hernandez home while in other cities, people took in the streets with loudspeakers singing “Juancho goes to New York”, using son nickname.
The United States Embassy in Tegucigalpa said in a statement Hernandez is charged of traffic of about 500 tons of cocaine through Honduras, knowing it would end up in United States.
The ex-president does face three counts: conspiracy to import a controlled substance into the United States, using or carrying firearms, including machine firearms and conspiracy to use or carry guns in support of conspiracy to traffic narcotics.
Hernandez is accused of having conspired with his brother, former Honduran Congressman Tony Hernandez, who has been in March 2021 brought to life in prison in United States for Drug traffic.
Spokesman Melvin Duarte said Hernandez’s appearance on Tuesday was due start the process for the judge to weigh information received from the United States.
Previous extradition requests had not taken more more than four months to rule, it added.
Hernandez promised to cooperate on Tuesday. with national authorities, saying in an audio message on Twitter he was ready to appear in court and “defend myself”.
Although Hernandez presented himself as an ally of the american war on drugs during son warrant, traffickers arrested in the United States claimed to have paid bribes to the president’s inner circle.
Alleged associate Geovanny Fuentes Ramirez has been convicted in United States last week to life in prison and a fine of 151.7 millions of dollars for ton smuggling of cocaine in the country – with Hernandez’s aid, according to prosecutors.
At that trial, a prosecutor said the then-president received millions of drug dealer dollars for protection – including Mexican narco kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “according to multiple credible sources media reports, “Hernandez” has hired in significant corruption by committing or facilitating acts of corruption and drug trafficking and using the product of illicit activities to facilitate political campaigning”.
Hernandez denies the allegations, which he says were part of a revenge conspiracy of traffickers son government had captured or extradited to the United States.
His lawyer, Hermes Ramirez insisted on Monday that son client enjoyed immunity from prosecution as a member of the Central American Parliament based in Guatemala, Parlacen.
Hernandez joined Parlacen hours after leaving office on January 27.
But some analysts told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the Parlacen charter gives members, in their country of of origin, the same immunity which they would have enjoyed as members of theirs parliamentwhich in Honduras, does not exist.
They also says that any immunity conferred by Parlacen membership can be canceled on request of a national government.
While son termHernandez has been charged of unfairly extend presidential powers, including over the justice system and the country’s electoral tribunal.
His re-election in 2017 was met with widespread protests against an alleged fraudster campaign in the country plagued by poverty and violence.