Venezuela’s supreme court said on Friday it had approved a request to Italy for the extradition of Rafael Ramirez, a once-powerful oil minister and former head of state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, on corruption charges.
Authorities opened a probe into Ramirez over alleged graft in late 2017 and sought an Interpol red alert for him in early 2018, shortly after he left his later post as Venezuela’s United Nations ambassador and began publicly criticizing President Nicolas Maduro’s handling of the economy, which remains in freefall.
Ramirez did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He has previously denied the corruption allegations, stating that the government was seeking to silence a critical voice.
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