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Late Venezuelan leader Chavez' aide extradited to US by Spain

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By Reuters

MADRID – Spain’s High Court said on Friday it had extradited to the United States a Venezuelan woman who was a member of late President Hugo Chavez’s inner circle, on charges of money laundering and belonging to a criminal group.

Claudia Diaz “has already been handed over to the US in compliance with a court ruling yesterday”, the High Court said without giving details.

Spain’s High Court approved in October the extradition of Diaz, a former Navy sergeant who was Chavez’s nurse when he was being treated for cancer. She also served as Venezuela’s national treasurer from 2011 to 2013.

The U.S. accusations include that she allegedly laundered money in the purchase of a yacht and a fashion company.

Diaz was also under investigation in Spain over the purchase of a house in Madrid for 1.8 million euros with money from Switzerland, the court had heard.

It rejected Diaz’s argument that as a Spanish citizen facing an investigation in Spain she should not be extradited.