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Spain to Hand Over American-Belgian Man Arrested Over Blood Diamonds

  • Associated Press

Spanish court officials say an American-Belgian businessman arrested for suspected involvement in enslavement and pillaging blood diamonds during Sierra Leone's civil war will be handed over shortly to Belgium.

A National Court spokesman said Monday the man, identified as Michael Desaedeleer, has agreed to be handed over to the Belgian authorities who sought his arrest. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with court regulations.

Spanish police said Desaedeleer, 64, was arrested last week at Malaga airport in southern Spain as he prepared to fly to the United States.

Belgium sought Desaedeleer's arrest following a complaint filed in 2011 detailing his alleged crimes in Sierra Leone's eastern Kono district between 1999 and 2001.

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