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Former Colombian Drug Kingpin Awaits Possible Extradition to US


Media reports say Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is considering whether to approve the extradition of a notorious former drug cartel leader.

The country's Supreme Court authorized Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela's extradition to the United States on Wednesday.

The Colombian daily El Tiempo Thursday quoted sources saying Mr. Rodriguez Orejuela's extradition seems certain, and President Uribe is expected to approve the request.

If sent to the United States to face drug trafficking charges, Mr. Rodriguez Orejuela could become the most powerful drug kingpin ever sentenced to a U.S. prison term.

Mr. Rodriguez Orejuela is the one time leader of the powerful Cali drug cartel - which is blamed for smuggling huge amounts of cocaine into the United States.

Once one of the world's wealthiest men, Mr. Rodriguez Orejuela has been in a Colombian jail since 1995. At that time, extradition to the United States was banned.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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