The extradition of alleged drug lord Walid Makled has been completed Monday morning, with the Venezuelan being returned to his home country after nine months of detention in Colombia, reported various media sources.
The alleged narco-trafficker had a medical check-up in Bogota before being handed over to Venezuelan authorities and leaving on a flight to Maiquetia Simon Bolivar Airport in Caracas at around 9:15AM this morning.
Venezuela’s justice minister, Tarek el Aissami, heralded the extradition over the weekend and proclaimed a “great victory for Venezuelan justice.”
Makled’s trial promises to be one of the most controversial in Venezuela’s recent history, since Makled has admitted to having links with members of the Venezuelan political establishment, as well as top-ranking military personnel.
The revelations have seen him highly sought after by both the U.S. and his home country, with Colombia caught in the middle of a tug-of-war for his extradition until opting to send him to Venezuela in March 2010.
Makled’s extradition had been held up while Colombia awaited assurances that his human rights would be protected upon his return, especially with American commentators and politicians fearing that he would be silenced once the Venezuelans had him in their custody.
On the weekend, Makled apparenty sent a note of thanks to the Colombian government for respecting and safeguarding his human rights and guarantees.