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Guatemala court, ex-VP Baldetti accept her extradition to US

Posted June 15

— A Guatemalan court approved a request to extradite former Vice President Roxana Baldetti to face drug trafficking charges in the United States after she declined Thursday to oppose the move.

However, Baldetti will first be subjected to Guatemalan justice on four charges of corruption brought by prosecutors in the Central American nation.

The United States formally requested Baldetti's extradition last week after she was indicted in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in February.

The indictment alleges Baldetti and others conspired to traffic cocaine to the U.S. between 2010 and 2015.

Reading from the extradition request during Thursday's court hearing, prosecutor Alejandro Guzman said Baldetti allegedly accepted money and gifts in return for using her political influence to allow drug traffickers to "operate with impunity in Guatemala."

Baldetti has denied the charges.

Accompanied by her lawyer Thursday, she called extradition a bid for "revenge" for the good things she did during her political career and said she hopes justice will prevail in the United States.

Baldetti resigned as vice president in 2015 and was charged with corruption in Guatemala the following year for allegedly participating in a customs graft scheme and receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks. She has remained in custody.

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