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US order extraditing fugitive 'Chapo' Guzman suspended

world Updated: Aug 01, 2015 09:12 IST
Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman

Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman (C) is escorted by soldiers during a presentation at the Navy's airstrip in Mexico City in this file photo (REUTERS Photo)

A US extradition order for the fugitive drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was temporarily suspended by a Mexican judge on Friday without giving any reason. The federal attorney general's office had approved it only a day earlier.

Guzman, one of the world's most notorious drug traffickers, escaped out of a maximum security prison through a tunnel burrowed right under his cell on July 11.

The United States requested Guzman's extradition on June 25, just a couple weeks before his escape, but Mexican officials said in January that Guzman would not be handed over because he must first serve time in his home country.

Guzman is wanted by US authorities for a variety of criminal charges including cocaine smuggling and money laundering, and the failure to extradite him has been heavily criticized by the government's critics since the jail break. This month's dramatic prison break was Guzman's second since a previous 2001 escape.

After eluding capture for 13 years, Guzman was arrested in his native Sinaloa state in February 2014.

Lawyers working on behalf of Guzman had already sought to nullify the extradition order, which could only be executed if Guzman is recaptured.

A ruling on the request by Guzman's lawyers is set for August.

See here: Mexico drug lord Guzman jailbreak