U.S. Court in Tampa Gives Partial Victory to Colombian Defendant in Extradition

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Thursday, September 1, 2005
Bruce Zagaris
On June 23, 2005, U.S. Magistrate Elizabeth A. Jenkins issued a report, recommending that U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich strike the parts of an indictment against a Colombian charged with drug trafficking crimes, thereby eliminating 26 counts committed before December 17, 1997 and giving a partial victory to the defendant. The case concerned the application of a condition in the extradition warrant in the case and in the Colombian constitution. In particular, the extradition warrant specified that, insofar as the indictment charged offenses committed before 1997, the warrant conditioned the extradition on not trying the defendant for actions committed prior to the effective date of Legislative Act No. 1, 1997, which amended article 35 of the Political Constitution, and which authorized extradition of Colombians by birth. Article 35 of the Colombian Constitution allows the extradition of Colombian born nationals, but states that extradition will not occur when it concerns crimes committed before the promulgation of the law (December 17, 1997)...[more]