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US court clears way for Salvadorean war crimes suspect extradition

A federal court in the United States has ruled that a former vice minister who headed El Salvador’s National Police can be extradited to Spain over the murder of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador in 1989.

Col Inocente Orlando Montano, who served as the country’s National Police as Vice Minister for Public Security, had appealed against a lower court ruling and attempted to block the move.

He is accused of plotting the murder of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her 16-year-old daughter at the Central American University in November 1989. They were shot dead, allegedly by an elite unit of the Salvadorean army. Five of the priests were Spanish nationals.

Col Montano has been in the United States since 2001, reports the BBC, where he was working in a sweet factory in Massachusetts before being arrested on immigration charges.

See more from the BBC here and Just Security here.