Makled’s lawyer demands Chavez guarentee client’s safety

The lawyer of Walid Makled asked Colombia to demand that Venezuela protects his client’s safety as President Chavez begins his state visit to Colombia, local media reported Saturday.

Defense lawyer Miguel Angel Ramirez said “We hope that the government of Colombia will demand that the government of Venezuela respect the security [and] human rights [of Makled], that he not be subjected to a forced disappearance, cruel and inhumane treatment and that he continues to be able to make the claims he has been making in Colombia.”

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Wednesday he plans to extradite alleged narco-trafficking Makled, alias ‘El Arabe’ to his home country of Venezuela, even though the U.S. had subsequently requested his extradition.

Makled claimed that he would only divulge information about his alleged connections to Venezuela’s military and political elite if were extradited to the U.S, and said in that the Venezuelan justice system was too politically biased to guarantee him a fair trial.

Makled is wanted on charges of aggravated homicide, money laundering, narco-trafficking, as well as the murders of a Venezuelan journalist and a Colombian drug-trafficker.

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