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Friday, October 23, 2009

Ecuadorian court declines extradition request for former Colombian minister

Colombia Reports, 20 October 2009

ecuador, santos, colombia news

Ecuador's National Court of Justice declined to process an extradition request involving the former defense minister of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, upon finding that the judge making the request had incomplete documentation.

A court official who declined to be named saying he was not authorized to give information, told the AP that "as soon as the papers are completed, the process will continue normally," reported Miami's El Nuevo Herald.

"The president of the National Court of Justice returned the file on Friday to judge Francisco Revelo in Sucumbios province because the paperwork was incomplete," said the source.

The National Court of Justice must review the extradition request of former minister Santos, before the Foreign Ministry requires his extradition.

According to Ecuadorian authorities, Santos is responsible for the deaths of 25 people, including FARC then-second-in-command Raul Reyes, four Mexican students and an Ecuadorian civilian in a March 2008 attack on a FARC encampment located within Ecuador's borders.

As the raid was not authorized by the Ecuadorian government, President Rafael Correa broke off diplomatic relations with Colombia, citing violation of Ecuadorian sovereignty. The two countries are in the process of repairing relations.

Along with Santos, the Sucumbios court also seeks the Commander of Colombia's Armed Forces, General Freddy Padilla de Leon, for whom an arrest warrant is pending. The Colombian government, headed by President Alvaro Uribe, has closed ranks around Santos and Padilla de Leon.

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