Colombia OKs extraditing Makled to Venezuela

AP News
Posted: Apr 13, 2011 7:31 PM
Colombia OKs extraditing Makled to Venezuela

Colombia's interior minister has approved the extradition to Venezuela of a reputed drug kingpin who has publicly accused his home country's ruling elite of deep involvement in cocaine trafficking.

Colombia spurned a U.S. extradition request last year for Walid Makled. It decided to instead send him home to stand trial for drug trafficking and murder.

Critics of the decision say Makled will be silenced in Venezuela.

Makled alleges he paid $1 million a month in bribes to senior Venezuelan officials. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez calls Makled a liar.

Colombian Interior Minister German Vargas said Wednesday it will take at least five days to extradite Makled, in order to give him a chance to appeal the decision.