Argentina high court approves extradition of US fugitive
Argentina high court approves extradition of US fugitive

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Argentina [official website, in Spanish] confirmed Saturday the extradition of a US fugitive wanted for a 2002 murder in Colorado. Kurt Sonnenfeld, a former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) cameraman and 9/11 conspiracy theorist, fled [AP report] to Argentina in 2003 after Denver prosecutors charged him with first-degree murder in the death of his wife. The ruling by the court, originally made on December 11, was based on assurances by US prosecutors that Sonnenfeld will not face the death penalty. An Argentine federal court previously rejected [Denver Post report] a US extradition request. Sonnenfeld’s extradition is still contingent on the approval of the Argentine executive branch; no timetable has been given for such approval.

International extradition demands are a major point of conflict in international law. In November a federal judge in Argentina requested [JURIST report] that Spain arrest and extradite 20 former Spanish officials suspected of human rights violations during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco [BBC backgrounder]. In October an appellate court in Lyon, France upheld [JURIST report] the extradition of Mukhtar Ablyazov [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], Kazakhstan’s former energy minister accused of misappropriating USD $6 billion from BTA Bank [corporate website]. Also in October a mentally ill British man Haroon Aswat was extradited [JURIST report] to the US to face terrorism charges after losing a nine-year legal battle.