By Sofia Menchu
GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Javier Duarte, a former state governor from Mexico’s ruling party wanted on charges of embezzlement and organized crime, is likely to be extradited from Guatemala by the end of this month, his lawyer said on Tuesday.
During a break in proceedings at a courthouse in Guatemala City discussing federal charges against Duarte, his lawyer told Reuters it was now most likely the ex-governor of the Gulf state of Veracruz would be extradited to Mexico before the end of July.
“We calculate that the extradition process will take between 15 and 18 working days,” Carlos Velasquez said.
Last week, Duarte accepted a request relating to state offences for his extradition, and in Tuesday’s court appearance the 43-year-old also agreed to the federal extradition demand.
Duarte, who governed Veracruz for President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) until last year, denies any wrongdoing.
He was arrested in Guatemala in April after weeks on the run and is being held in a military prison in the capital.
The former governor has been accused of using state institutions to funnel public funds into private companies.
Under Duarte’s rule, Veracruz descended into a chaotic cycle of violence, with mass graves having been discovered after he left office.
(Reporting by Sofia Menchu)