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.
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.