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Wife of jailed Mexican governor bailed by UK court

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LONDON (Reuters) – The wife of a disgraced former Mexican state governor, serving a nine-year jail sentence for money laundering and links to organised crime, was granted bail on Tuesday by a British court which will decide whether she should be extradited to Mexico.

Karime Macias, 43, who is wanted by Mexico on the charge of conspiracy to defraud the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, was arrested in London last month after handing herself into police.

A judge in Veracruz, where Macias’ husband Javier Duarte governed from 2010 to 2016, issued a warrant for her arrest in 2018 for the alleged misuse of over 112 million pesos ($5.9 million) in funds from a social welfare program.

She was initially remanded in custody after her arrest on Oct. 29, but at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday Judge Michael Snow said she could be released on bail having met the requirement of providing a security of 150,000 pounds ($193,500).

Asked by the judge to confirm her name, Macias said Duarte was her ex-husband and she wished to be known as Karime Macias Tubilla.

Mexican prosecutors say Duarte, a member of former President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), headed an organization whose criminal operations were carried out in Veracruz, the eastern Gulf state of Campeche and Mexico City between 2011 and 2016.

Top Mexican auditor ASF said in 2016 that the irregularities in public funds under Duarte were the most it had ever seen.

Macias will appear again at the same London court on Jan. 9 for a case management hearing.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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