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Block Extradition of Honduran to U.S.

July 17, 1985

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) _ A three-judge panel on Tuesday denied a U.S. request for the extradition of a Honduran general indicted in Florida on charges of conspiring to kill the Honduran president and topple his civilian government.

The general, Jose A. Bueso Rosa, a former military attache at the Honduran Embassy in Chile, has been under arrest in Santiago since U.S. authorities requested his extradition last November.

Under Chilean law, the panel’s ruling can not be appealed.

Chilean lawyers representing the U.S. government refused comment.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested eight Honduran businessmen in Miami on Nov. 1, 1984, and charged they were involved with Bueso Rosa in the coup plot. U.S. authorities also sought the extradition of Bueso Rosa.

Honduras promptly stripped the general of his diplomatic status, and he sought asylum at the Paraguayan Embassy in Santiago but surrendered to Chilean authorities two days later.

A Dade County, Fla., grand jury subsequently indicted Bueso Rosa and the eight businemen on charges of conspiring to murder Honduran President Roberto Suazo, a close ally of Washington, and overthrow his government. The plotters allegedly planned to use money from drug trafficking to finance the scheme.

Bueso Rosa has denied the charges.

Tuesday’s decision by three justices of Chile’s Supreme Court upheld a May 6 ruling by Chief Justice Rafael Retamal that Bueso rosa could not be extradited because testimony presented before the Florida grand jury did not meet Chilean legal standards for evidence of attempted murder.

Court officials said Bueso Rosa would probably be freed soon.

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