U.S. Court Upholds Partial Victory for Colombian Defendant

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Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Bruce Zagaris
On September 12, 2005, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich issued an opinion affirming the Report and Recommendation entered on June 23, 2005, by Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Jenkins in the case of United States v. Joaquin Mario Valencia-Trujillo. 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 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]