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A retired Pakistani admiral arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last month on the basis of corruption charges in his home country will be extradited, a federal judge has ruled.
At a hearing in Austin on Friday, US Magistrate Judge Stephen Capelle ordered that Mansur-ul-Haq be returned to Pakistan.
For the past four years, Haq, 63, has lived out a quiet retirement with his wife and children in Texas. But Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau has been steadily lobbying the United States to enforce an international arrest warrant for Haq, who served as the country's naval chief from 1994-1997.
According to Islamabad, the former admiral accepted $3.3 million in bribes from French defence contractors while serving in the government of Benazir Bhutto. Several of his underlings are already serving lengthy prison sentences for similar crimes.
Before Haq could be charged, he fled Pakistan in 1997 and settled in a posh suburb of Austin. But his past finally caught up with him in April, when the FBI picked him up and placed him in federal detention.
Judge Capelle denied Haq's request for bail early on, citing a large risk of flight.
Federal prosecutor Ronald Sievert touched on the complexities of dealing with international extraditions today in describing Haq's case.
"It's involved extensive discussions with a number of parties," he said. "We've maintained contact with the Government of Pakistan throughout the proceedings."
Although Sievert confirmed the upcoming deportation, he would not give a date.
"For security reasons, I cannot comment on that," he said "But Mr Haq will be escorted back to Pakistan by US marshals."
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