Extradited Honduran ex-president wants to subpoena Biden, Clinton, Obama, Trump and El Chapo to prove his innocence – New York Daily News

A cavalcade of former US presidents – as well as President Biden – are on the proposed witness list for former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, who appeared in shackles in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday to plead not guilty to drug trafficking. drugs and guns.

Mexican crime lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is also among those Hernández’s defense team wants to call as witnesses.

Hernández, who served as the Central American nation’s president from 2014 to January 2021, wants jurors to hear from other former heads of state Donald Trump, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, who he says would join Guzmán in securing his innocence.

“Biden may be busy running the country, but I don’t see anything that Trump is doing that matters – and I know Mr. Obama is retired,” defense attorney Raymond Colon said.

Colon said he wants to subpoena US presidents, past and present, because he believes they will testify that Hernández was an ally in the US drug war.

“My client was the first president to apply or agree to the extradition of individuals in Honduras who were trafficking narcotics… We have to let it be known and this may be our way of escaping a prison sentence. life imprisonment.”

Authorities say Hernández facilitated the importation of hundreds of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the United States beginning in 2004.

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Hernández conspired with the world’s most prolific drug barons to build a “corrupt and brutally violent empire” of cocaine trafficking to the United States, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said following his charge.

Prosecutors said he earned millions in bribes by using the power of his office to facilitate the flow of drugs and guns into the United States.

Hernández was extradited to the United States in April. He was arrested at his home in February and Honduran courts have authorized his extradition.

Colon said notorious drug kingpin El Chapo, who is serving a life sentence for drug trafficking following his 2019 conviction in Brooklyn federal court, would tell a jury that he had never met Hernández.

“Look, we’re going to subpoena El Chapo. He’s over there in Colorado,” Colon said. Guzman is housed in the “Supermax” federal prison there.

“Hopefully they bring him in,” Colon said. “I believe he was quoted as saying, ‘I had no interaction, transaction or relationship with President Hernández. “”

Dozens of Honduran nationals who attended Tuesday’s hearing shouted “rata,” the Spanish word for “rat,” as U.S. marshals brought Hernández into the courtroom in handcuffs.

Edward K. Thompson