The InterAmerican Court on Human Rights (IACHR) reportedly asked Colombia to provide details surrounding the impending extradition of seven taxi drivers convicted of killing a US DEA agent in June of last year, reported El Espectador newspaper.
The IACHR, the largest international court in the Americas, asked the government of Colombia to provide information about the case so that it can make an analysis and give a response within 72 hours, said El Espectador.
Among the requested information were the crimes the men could be charged with in the United States, the potential sentences they could face there, the expected extradition date and potential “risks to their lives and integrity” if they are extradited.
The IACHR reportedly requested this information on April 11.
The seven men have been convicted in Colombian court of the June 20, 2013 Bogota murder of James Terry Watson, a US DEA agent.
The legal defense for the taxi drivers argue that the murder was an attempted robbery gone wrong. The men allegedly had intended to kidnap Watson and drive him around to different ATMs and drain his bank account. These robberies have acquired the title “millionaire rides.”
Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos approved the extradition request of the men last week.
The defendants’ Lawyer Miguel Angel Ramirez has petitioned the Inter-American Court on Human Rights Court (IACHR) to overturn a Colombian Supreme Court ruling, claiming that extraditing the alleged murderers to the United States would infringe on the Colombian legal definition of a “fair trial.” He has argued that because all seven men are Colombian nationals and the crime was committed in Colombia there is no legal precedent for their extradition to the United States.
All seven suspects are suspected to be part of a gang allegedly dedicated to robbing taxi passengers, six of which are charged with aggravated homicide, kidnapping and conspiracy. One suspect is wanted for extradition to respond to obstruction of justice charges.
The seven have reportedly expressed their remorse for the crime and are willing to serve the 45-year maximum sentences under Colombian law.
The United States does not have maximum sentencing laws and the defendants’ sentences could be longer than 45 years if they are extradited to the United States.