05:13 GMT29 May 2020
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    The Spanish prosecutor's office previously ruled to hand the Latin American official over to the US, but the judges noted that his alleged crimes may affect Spain as well, adding that he is a Spanish national.

    Ex-Venezuelan Deputy Energy Minister Javier Alvarado Ochoa won't be extradited to the United States, the National Court of Spain ruled on Tuesday.

    The US accused the official of organising a criminal group, money laundering, and bribery, demanding that he be extradited. Madrid, however, stated that the Spanish judiciary is also investigating Alvarado Ochoa on similar charges.

    In this Feb. 18, 2015 photo, storage tanks stand in a PDVSA state-run oil company crude oil complex near El Tigre, a town located within Venezuela's Hugo Chavez oil belt, formally known as the Orinoco Belt
    © AP Photo / Fernando Llano
    In this Feb. 18, 2015 photo, storage tanks stand in a PDVSA state-run oil company crude oil complex near El Tigre, a town located within Venezuela's Hugo Chavez oil belt, formally known as the Orinoco Belt

    The court's verdict comes after another former Venezuelan official, Maj. Gen. Hugo Carvajal, an ex-military intel chief, fled the Spanish police, avoiding extradition to the US on drug trafficking charges.

    The ex-deputy minister was arrested by Spanish authorities in May, as the US allegations claimed he tried to legalise money he gained from bribes as the director of a subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA.

    According to American judicial documents, his criminal group accumulated up to $50 million in bribes in 2011-2013, which Alvarado was allegedly laundering in several countries, including Spain and the United States. He is also being investigated in Andorra and Portugal.

     

    Tags:
    Money Laundering, money laundering, extradition, PDVSA, United States, Venezuela, Spain
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