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Brazil Requests Oviedo Extradition

June 30, 2000

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) _ Paraguay has asked for the extradition of an ex-army chief who faces murder charges in the 1999 assassination of Parguay’s vice president, the Brazilian government said Friday.

Brazil’s foreign and justice ministries said the request for the extradition of former Paraguayan Gen. Lino Oviedo was received Thursday night and will be handed over to the Supreme Court on Monday.

Oviedo, arrested in Brazil on June 11, is being held in a federal jail in the Brazilian capital.

The actual extradition proceedings won’t begin until August because the Supreme Court will be in recess during all of July, Supreme Court spokesman Gerson Matos said.

The high court will hear arguments from both sides and take into consideration the opinion of the federal attorney general.

``The entire process could take several months, if not years,″ Matos added.

In Paraguay, that country’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Julia Velilla Laconich said the extradition request alleges Oviedo plotted the March 23, 1999 killing of Vice President Luis Argana.

Oviedo, himself a former presidential candidate, has also been convicted of leading an unsuccessful coup in 1996.

The ex-general was arrested in Foz do Iguacu _ a tourist resort situated on Paraguay and Argentina’s southwest border. Brazilian police had been searching for him since May 26, when the Supreme Court, on Paraguay’s request, issued a warrant for his arrest.

Oviedo was sentenced once in Paraguay to a 10-year prison term for the 1996 coup attempt, but was released after only six months by then President Raul Cubas.

Oviedo went into exile in Argentina, but vanished on Dec. 9, a day before the country’s new president, Fernando de la Rua, took office. De la Rua had said he would consider Paraguay’s request for extradition, which his predecessor had rejected.

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