Alleged Venezuelan drug trafficker Walid Makled, extradited from Colombia last year, remained silent during the second day of his trial following recommendations from lawyers, reported local media.
“They [prosecutors] asked him if he wanted to respond and he said he did not want to until he was sufficiently prepared. (…) We have advised him to speak when there are sufficient proofs against him,” said Makled’s lawyer Rafael Ojeda.
Ojeda added, “Makled trusts fully in our knowledge and the strategy we are developing.”
On the opening day of the trial, an employee of Makled was sentenced to 11 years and six months in prison for drug trafficking, a sentence reduced to the initial request because they pleaded guilty.
Venezuela’s Public Ministry said the sentenced employee was in charge of Makled’s estate and was accused of trafficking narcotics and psycotropic substances and carrying concealed weaponry.
The alleged drug dealer is accused by the U.S. Drugs Enforcement Agency of cooperating with the FARC to distribute cocaine to the United States and claims to have had connections with Venezuela’s political and military elite.
He was arrested on August 19, 2010 in Colombia’s Cucuta department, which borders Venezuela.
In May 2011 Maklid was officially charged with murder, drug trafficking and money laundering. The U.S. and his home country both sought his extradition, with Colombia eventually opting to send him to Venezuela in April 2011.