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Judge Rules in Favor of Extraditing Former Honduran Leader to US

FILE - Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez answers questions from the media, Aug. 13, 2019, in Washington.

A judge in Honduras has granted a U.S. request to extradite former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez to face drug trafficking and weapons charges.

The decision Wednesday came a month after Honduran authorities arrested Hernandez at his home in Tegucigalpa.

Hernandez has denied any wrongdoing and can appeal the judge’s ruling.

The U.S. extradition request said that since 2004, Hernandez allowed tons of cocaine from Venezuela and Colombia to travel through Honduras on its way to the United States, while protecting drug traffickers from investigation, in exchange for millions of dollars in bribes.

Hernandez was repeatedly implicated as a co-conspirator in his brother’s 2019 drug trafficking trial by New York prosecutors. The brother, Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernández, was found guilty of drug and weapons charges and sentenced to life in prison.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.