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Colombian Drug Kingpin's Lawyer Denounces Planned Extradition to US


The Colombian lawyer for a jailed Cali drug cartel boss has denounced plans to extradite him to the United States, saying his client will be deprived the right to appoint his own defense counsel.

Lawyer Jorge Luis Gutierrez said Wednesday the pending extradition of Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela is unacceptable because U.S. law prevents suspected drug money from being used to pay for attorneys.

Mr. Gutierrez said his client will only have a court-appointed lawyer in the United States to defend him against drug-trafficking charges.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe signed the extradition order Tuesday.

Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela and his brother Gilberto headed the Cali drug cartel, which authorities say smuggled tons of cocaine into the United States for more than a decade.

Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela was extradited to the United States in December.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.