A Mexican federal court panel says an accused drug cartel “queen” can’t be extradited to the U.S. on a charge for which she was acquitted in Mexico.
The appeals court also has upheld a judge who acquitted Sandra Avila Beltran on drug-trafficking, money-laundering and organized-crime charges in December, citing lack of evidence.
Both rulings made public Tuesday deal a blow to U.S. and Mexican efforts to prosecute Avila, who is known as the “Queen of the Pacific.” She was arrested in 2007 and has remained in prison because of the U.S. extradition request.
It isn’t clear if she will now be released. She still faces an unrelated money-laundering charge.
This article was published by the associated press on August 9, 2011.
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