Judge in Spain approves Guatemalan's extradition

Spanish government will now have to decide whether to extradite Carlos Vielmann

A Spanish High Court judge on Tuesday agreed to extradite a former Guatemalan interior minister who has been charged in connection with the killing of 10 prison inmates in 2006.

It is now up to the Spanish government, which has final say, to decide whether to extradite Carlos Vielmann, 55.

The United Nations-sponsored Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), which issued warrants for 19 people responsible for the massacres, said Vielmann allegedly ordered the killing of some 2,000 beggars, drunks, drug addicts and prostitutes in an effort to clean up the prison system. He is also being charged with personally shooting at least seven inmates following a riot.

High Court Judge Alfonso Guevara agreed in a ruling released on Tuesday to extradite Vielmann on 10 counts of murder, but not for the charges brought by Guatemala, which include summary execution and criminal association, because these are not included in a bilateral extradition treaty.

Vielmann, a Guatemalan who also holds Spanish nationality through his grandparents and lives in Madrid, was arrested near the Retiro Park last October after the CICIG issued the warrants.

In another development, prosecutors in Guatemala on Monday filed an appeal in the corruption case of former President Alfonso Portillo and two others, who were both acquitted on embezzlement charges last month by a three-judge panel. Portillo remains in jail awaiting extradition to the United States for money-laundering charges.

Former Guatemalan minister Carlos Vielmann
Former Guatemalan minister Carlos VielmannFERNANDO ALVARADO (EFE)
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