Brazil jails Colombian 'drug lord'

Alleged leader of drug cartel sentenced to 30 years and faces extradition to US.

    Abadia is said to have had several plastic surgeries
    to disguise his appearance [EPA]
    'Excessive' sentence
     
    Abadia is also wanted in the US for trial on drug trafficking, money-laundering and murder charges.
     
    The Norte del Valle cartel is said to have smuggled tonnes of cocaine to California through Mexico.
     
    Abadia's lawyer, Luiz Gustavo Bataglin Maciel, told local news stations that he considered Abadia's sentence excessive and that he planned to appeal.
     
    Abadia's wife, Jessica Rojas, was sentenced to 11-years in prison and fined $790,000.
     
    Extradition
     
    Last month the Brazilian supreme court authorised Abadia's extradition, although the final decision on his fate lies with Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president.
     
    However, for extradition to proceed the US must pledge not to seek the death penalty, which is banned in Brazil.
     
    Abadia was originally said to want to be extradited because he feared for his life in Brazil, but his lawyer said he may have changed his mind because conditions were better in Brazil.
     
    Now held in a prison in Sao Paolo, Abadia arrived in the country in 2004 from Venezuela using false identity papers.
     
    He is said to have undergone at least four plastic surgery operations to alter his appearance and escape capture.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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