Spain Requests Extradition of Suspects in Jesuits Case

The National Court of Spain is processing a criminal case against 20 former Salvador military officers for the November 1989 murders of six Jesuit priests and their cook and her daughter.[1]

On December 2nd the Spanish Government approved the request of Spanish Judge Eloy Velasco to issue requests for extradition of 15 of the men charged in this case.[2]

The government of El Salvador will receive 13 of the requests. Whether or not to grant the request will be a matter for the country’s Supreme Court. A Salvadoran defense attorney says that there will be no extradition because El Salvador already tried a criminal case involving this crime.[3]

The government of the U.S. will receive the other two requests. One will be for extradition of Inocente Orlando Montano, who  is living in Massachusetts, has denied the Spanish charges. In the federal court in Boston he is now facing criminal charges of perjury and making false statements on U.S. immigration forms. The other will be for Hector Ulises Cuenca Ocampo, who is believed to be living in California.[4]

Five other former Salvadoran military officers are facing criminal charges in the Spanish case. One is reported to be cooperating with the Spanish court; another is said to be willing to do so; two have not been located; and the last is deceased (General Rene Emilio Ponce).[5]


[1] Post: International Criminal Justice: Spanish Court’s Case Regarding the Salvadoran Murders of the Jesuit Priests (June 15, 2011); Post: International Criminal Justice: Spanish Court Issues Criminal Arrest Warrants for Salvadoran Murders of Jesuit Priests (May 31, 2011); Post: International Criminal Justice: Developments in Spanish Court’s Case Regarding the Salvadoran Murders of the Jesuit Priests (Aug. 26, 2011).

[2]  Assoc. Press, Spain Asks U.S. and El Salvador to Extradite Murder Suspects, N.Y. Times (Dec. 3, 2011).

[3] Guzman, Court awaiting extradition request, lapagina.com.sv (Dec. 2, 2011(Google English translation);Guzman, The extradition of former soldiers to Spain will never give, according to defense, lapagina.com.sv (Dec. 2, 2011(Google English translation).

[4] EUA also asked to send, laprensagrifica.com (Dec. 3, 2011)( Google English translation); Immigration fraud, a former soldier Montano faces 5 years in prison, lapagina.com.sv (Nov. 30, 2011)( Google English translation); Salvadoran ex-officer faces Mass. Perjury charge, http://www.boston.com (Nov. 29, 2011); Criminal Complaint, U.S. v. Montano, Case No. 11m-5193-I6D (D. Mass. Aug. 22, 2011).

[5] Lemus, Spain calls on El Salvador extradition of military slaughter processed by Jesuit, http://www.elfaro.net/es (Dec. 2, 2011)( Google English translation);The judge asked the government to claim 13 soldiers for the killing of Jesuit, http://www.elmundo.es (Nov. 8, 2011) (Google English translation).

 

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dwkcommentaries

As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

8 thoughts on “Spain Requests Extradition of Suspects in Jesuits Case”

  1. Comment: Ex-Salvadoran Military Officer Indicted for Alleged Violations of U.S. Immigration Laws

    On February 8, 2012, the federal court in Massachusetts indicted Innocente Orlando Montano, a former Salvadoran military officer, for perjury and lying on U.S. immigration forms to claim Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

    Reuters, Ex-Salvadoran officer indicted on U.S. immigration charges (Feb. 9, 2012),http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/ex-salvadoran-officer-indicted-on-us-immigration-charges?utm_source=February+10%2C+2012+for+Sarah%27s+list&utm_campaign=Feb+10+Blast+Sarah&utm_medium=email.

  2. Comment: El Salvador Denies Spain’s Request for Extradition of Suspects in Killing of Jesuits

    On May 8, 2012, El Salvador’s Supreme Court denied Spain’s request for extradition of 13 Salvadorans who have been criminally charged with involvement in the November 1989 murders of six Jesuit priests and their housekeeper and her daughter. According to the Court, the request was denied because El Salvador’s constitution in effect in 1989 prohibited the extradition of Salvadoran citizens. This decision was supported by nine of the 15 judges of the Court; how the other six voted was not disclosed.

    This decision was criticized by the director of the human rights institute at Universidad de Centro America, where the Jesuits taught and were killed. He noted, however, that the suspects would be subject to arrest under an INTERPOL Red Notice if they left the country.

    A lawyer for the suspects said that he was working on a request to the Spanish court to terminate the criminal case regarding the murder of the Jesuits.

    In the meantime, there has been no news regarding how and when the U.S. will respond to Spain’s request for extradition of two Salvadorans who are suspects in the same case and who are living in the U.S.

    Malkin, El Salvador: Court Denies Spain Request for Extradition of Suspects in Killings, N.Y. Times (May 9, 2012), http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/world/americas/el-salvador-court-denies-spain-request-for-extradition-of-suspects-in-killings.html?ref=world; AFP, Supreme Court denies extradition to Spain of military trial for murder of Jesuits, ElFaro (May 9, 2012)(Google translation), http://www.elfaro.net/es/201205/internacionales/8531/; AP, Criticized decision not to extradite former military Salvadorans, LaPrensaGrafica (May 9, 2012), http://www.laprensagrafica.com/el-salvador/judicial/262195-critican-decision-de-no-extraditar-exmilitares-salvadorenos-.html; Avalos, Chavez & Flores, Military can be extradited from another country, LaPrensaGrafica (May 9, 2012), http://www.laprensagrafica.com/el-salvador/judicial/262288-militares-pueden-ser-extraditados-desde-otro-pais.html

  3. Comment: Former Salvadoran Military Officer Pleads Guilty to Lying to U.S. Immigration Officials #171C–9/15/12

    On September 11th, in a Massachusetts federal court Innocente Orlando Montano, a former Salvadoran military officer, pleaded guilty to three counts of immigration fraud and three counts of perjury with respect to his stating a false date of entry to the U.S. on his application for the U.S. immigration benefit of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The date for his sentencing hearing was set for December 18th.

    Montano is one of those charged with crimes by a Spanish court relating to the November 1989 murder of the six Jesuit priests and their housekeeper and her daughter. Now the Spanish request for the U.S. to extradite him to Spain presumably will be granted.

    Assoc. Press, Salvadoran accused in killings of 6 Jesuit priests admits he lied to US immigration officials, Wash. Post (Sept. 11, 2012), http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/salvadoran-accused-in-jesuit-slayings-pleads-guilty-to-immigration-charges/2012/09/11/61589d32-fc3c-11e1-98c6-ec0a0a93f8eb_story.html?utm_source=September+14%2C2012+for+Sarah%27s+list&utm_campaign=Sept+14+Blast+SS&utm_medium=email.

  4. Comment: Sentencing of Colonel Montano Postponed So U.S. Court Can Hear Further Argument on Whether His Human Rights Record in El Salvador May Be Used To Increase the Sentence

    As noted in the prior comment, on September 11, 2012, in a Massachusetts federal court Innocente Orlando Montano, a former Salvadoran military officer, pleaded guilty to three counts of immigration fraud and three counts of perjury with respect to his stating a false date of entry to the U.S. on his application for the U.S. immigration benefit of Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

    On January 15, 2013, the U.S. court held a hearing on his sentencing, but deferred ruling until a subsequent hearing. One of the issues is whether the court may consider the evidence of human rights violations committed by Salvadoran troops under Montano’s command, culminating in the murders of the six Jesuit priests and their housekeeper and her daughter inNovember 1989.

    Blum, Understanding the Montano Sentencing Process for the Crimes of Immigration Fraud and Perjury, (Jan. 15, 2013), http://www.cja.org/article.php?id=1253.

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