MADRID (AP) — A Spanish court has given preliminary authorization for an aide of late President Hugo Chavez to be extradited to Venezuela.
Claudia Diaz is being sought along with her husband Adrian Velasquez for alleged money laundering in deals that, according to Venezuelan authorities, emerged in the so-called Panama Papers.
Lawyer Ismael Oliver says his client Diaz plans to appeal the decision.
Diaz worked as a nurse for Chavez and eventually became an aide entrusted with managing the public fund which invested profits from state oil exports. Velasquez was a former member of Chavez’s security detail.
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The ruling Friday by Spain’s National Court says there is no evidence that Diaz will be politically prosecuted in Venezuela, contrary to what an official argued during a September hearing.