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Guatemala extradites ex-president Portillo to U.S.

Guatemala on Friday extradited its former president Alfonso Portillo to the United States where he will face charges of money laundering, according to official sources here.

A federal court from New York requests Portillo to face a legal process for conspiracy to launder some 70 million U.S. dollars, which had gone through U.S. banks to legitimize the money.

"Thanks to the efforts of the democratically elected Guatemalan government and to the legal and police officials for the extradition, which was authorized since 2011 by the Guatemalan Supreme Court," the U.S. embassy in Guatemala said in a statement.

Guatemala's Minister of Interior Mauricio Lopez Bonilla validated the extradition according to the country's law.

However, Mauricio Berreondo, lawyer of the former president, said Portillo's due process was violated, insisting he still had available legal remedies and that he should not be extradited.

Berreondo said Portillo's lawyers had been denied access during the legal procedure.

Portillo traveled in an air ambulance to New York city.

[Source: Xinhua, Guatemala City, 24May13]

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