Guatemala pres authorizes extradition of ex-leader

November 15, 2011 - 7:40 PM

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom says he will grant a U.S. extradition request for former president Alfonso Portillo, who faces charges in the U.S. of embezzling $1.5 million in foreign donations.

Colom says the country's courts have already approved the extradition, and that he will respect those rulings.

During a Tuesday news conference, Colom didn't give a date for when Portillo might be sent north. The remaining administrative processes can take months before the extradition finally occurs.

In May, a Guatemalan court found Portillo not guilty of charges that he stole $15 million from the country's Defense Department when he governed the country from 2000 to 2004.

(This version CORRECTS APNewsNow. Corrects that Colom spoke at Tuesday news conference.)