U.S. Court: Extradition




As a direct result of CJA’s investigation and Jesuits Massacre Case in Spain, one of the defendants in the case — Colonel Inocente Orlando Montano — was discovered to be living in the Boston area and subsequently arrested by U.S. authorities.  The U.S. government charged him with immigration fraud and perjury and he pleaded guilty to six counts.  Judge Douglas Woodlock from the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts sentenced Montano to 21 months in prison.

Near the end of Montano’s 21-month prison sentence, on April 8, 2015, the U.S. government filed a request seeking the extradition of Montano to Spain. Montano appeared before Magistrate Judge Kimberly Swank of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.  Judge Swank continued Montano’s custody, under the aegis of the U.S. Marshals Service. Montano also received a federal public defender as counsel.

On May 7, 2015, a detention hearing was held to consider Montano’s request for release from custody during the pendency of the extradition case. Magistrate Judge Swank ruled for the continued custody of Montano.  She stressed that the presumption against release was premised on the “overriding national interest to comply with our treaty obligations.”

On February 5, 2016, Judge Kimberly Swank approved Montano’s extradition to stand trial in CJA’s case Spain.

On August 21, 2017, a North Carolina District Court let stand the court’s decision in denying Montano’s habeas corpus petition challenging his detention.  Montano may appeal the decision to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Any final extradition order must be signed by the Secretary of State.

As of January 1, 2017, former CJA Transitional Justice Director, Almudena Bernabeu has retained the clients in the Jesuits Massacre case through her new firm Guernica 37. CJA remains committed to the Jesuits Massacre case and stands ready to assist Guernica 37.