MADRID (AP) - A Puerto Rican required by U.S. courts to answer the charge to hire a murderer to kill his wealthy Canadian husband said Wednesday at his extradition hearing in Spain he is innocent and the victim of subjects "corrupt and mafia" .
Visibly nervous, Aurea Vazquez Rijos, 33, said before the High Court did not want to be extradited, adding that in recent years had legally lived in Italy and was never aware that he sought justice until he reached Spain.
Vazquez was arrested in Madrid in June to arrive from Italy, where he lived since 2008. A U.S. jury instruction that made the year before by allegations that offered three million dollars to a man to kill her husband Adam Anhang, 32, who was found dead and stabbed to death in Puerto Rico in 2005 while walking with Vazquez near a bar he had acquired for her to operate.
Vazquez then refused to cooperate with the police and filed a civil suit against Anhang's family, which demanded a compensation of one million dollars in damages and millions of dollars over the goods he left. A judge in Puerto Rico rejected that demand.
Since then, authorities have charged a suspect, Alex Pabon Colon, of having committed the murder. He pleaded guilty and cooperated with investigators.
Several more people, including family members Vazquez, have been arrested and charged in the case.
Anhang had developed hotels and condos by the sea in Puerto Rico and served as CEO of a software company for Internet gambling, based in Costa Rica.
The court ruling on extradition in the next three weeks is awaited.
Vazquez said she had a permit to stay in Italy, had twins with another man there, and said working as a tour guide and traveled to Europe frequently. In Italy he renewed his American passport last year, he added.
He asked the court how he could have done all that if there had been an arrest warrant against him, and said she had been tricked into thinking she was meeting with a group of tourists in Madrid when he flew to the Spanish capital in June . She was arrested off the plane.
There is an act of "mafia and corruption" behind it, he said.
The lawyer for Vazquez, Isaac Abad Gómez, presented arguments against extradition, which stated that there was no guarantee that his client will not face life in prison without bail, something U.S. officials have warned that hangs on it. He said the arrest warrant was defective.
The Spanish laws do not allow the extradition of persons who could face the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The prosecutor in the High Court said he was in favor of extradition, provided assurances that will not face any of these two punishments are provided.
The defendant sobbed a little when she was handcuffed in the back and taken out of court.
Abe Anhang, the victim's father, said he was pleased by the arrest of Vasquez.
"Our family is grateful for the efforts of the FBI, Interpol and the Spanish police apprehended it, and the courts of Spain to handle this so efficiently," said the man, who lives in Winnipeg, Canada."After eight years we hope justice is done and the case is closed."
Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory in the Caribbean whose inhabitants are U.S. citizens. Puerto Ricans can not vote for president of the country and not pay income tax, but are under the jurisdiction of federal law and may be sentenced to death. The Puerto Rican government has asked federal prosecutors to stop seeking the imposition of capital punishment on the island.
In recent history Puerto Rican juries have rejected the death penalty in six cases.
SJDS - 12.23.13