Former Honduras president extradited to US

A former president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, has been extradited to the United States to face charges of drug trafficking and money laundering.

Hernández, who governed the Central American nation until January, was put on board a US Drug Enforcement Administration plane for New York.

He was arrested at his home just weeks after his second term in office ended.

The ex-leader has denied wrongdoing, arguing that disgruntled drug traffickers are trying to frame him.

Mr Hernández is facing charges of:

conspiracy to import a controlled substance into the US
using or carrying firearms, including machine guns
conspiracy to use or carry firearms

In a video posted on his wife’s Twitter account, he denied the allegations, saying: “I am innocent. I have been subjected to an unfair trial.”

In a statement, the US Department of Justice said Hernández would make his first appearance before a New York court on Friday.

US Attorney Damian Williams said the former president had “partnered with some of the world’s most prolific narcotics traffickers to build a corrupt and brutally violent empire based on the illegal trafficking of tons of cocaine”.

The head of the Drugs Enforcement Administration (DEA), Anne Milgram, called Hernández “a central figure in one of the largest and most violent cocaine trafficking conspiracies in the world”.

The 53-year-old’s legal troubles were triggered by the trial against his younger brother Tony, a former member of the Honduran Congress, who was sentenced to life in prison last year. (BBC)

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