AP

Lawyer: Ex-Honduran president held like a ‘prisoner of war’

May 10, 2022, 9:50 AM | Updated: 10:48 am

Demonstrators stand outside Manhattan federal court to protest former Honduran President Juan Orlan...

Demonstrators stand outside Manhattan federal court to protest former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez who appeared in court on drug trafficking and weapons charges, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

(AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández is being held like a “prisoner of war” in a New York federal jail, his lawyer told a judge Tuesday.

Attorney Raymond Colon made the assertion as Hernandez pleaded not guilty to charges that he received millions of dollars from 2004 to 2022 to support a drug trade that delivered hundreds of thousands of kilos of drugs to the U.S.

Colon said Hernandez has been held in solitary confinement and has not been permitted to communicate with his family or receive access to the jail’s commissary since he was extradited three weeks ago to face charges. He said Hernandez is sometimes allowed to exercise on a basketball court for one hour but isn’t given a basketball.

The lawyer also complained that he’s been mostly blocked from meeting with Hernandez, although his paralegals have been permitted to meet with him.

U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel directed the government to look into the issues and report to him within a week. Castel also set a tentative trial date for Jan. 17.

“Obviously, he’s been treated like a prisoner of war, not like every other inmate,” Colon said.

The lawyer said Hernandez has been isolated in a wing of the jail and treated as if he was a terrorism defendant or a violent inmate subject to special prison rules.

“He’s not a terrorist,” Colon said. “There’s no violence in his history.”

Castel said he could not think of a reason why Hernandez would be denied family phone calls, use of the jail commissary and other privileges inmates receive, although he invited prosecutors to submit an explanation under seal if there was a secret reason that could not be disclosed publicly.

Otherwise, the judge said, “Let’s see if we can get a prompt report and corrective measures as appropriate.”

“My client’s very grateful,” Colon said as a bespectacled Hernandez nodded his head enthusiastically beside him.

A message for comment left with the Federal Bureau of Prisons was not immediately returned.

Hernández served as president of the Central American nation from 2014 through 2022. He faces charges including participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy, possession of machine guns and destructive devices and conspiracy to possess machine guns and destructive devices.

Hernández was arrested at his home in Tegucigalpa in February at the request of U.S. authorities. Honduras’ Supreme Court rejected his appeal of a judge’s decision favoring extradition.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows Iran's nuclear site in Isfahan, Iran, April 4, 2024...

Associated Press

Israel, Iran play down apparent Israeli strike. The muted responses could calm tensions — for now

Israel and Iran are both playing down an apparent Israeli airstrike near a major air base and nuclear site in central Iran.

13 hours ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks to reporters just after lawmakers pushed a $95 bill...

Associated Press

Ukraine, Israel aid advances in rare House vote as Democrats help Republicans push it forward

The House pushed ahead Friday on a foreign aid package of $95 billion for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and other sources of humanitarian support.

15 hours ago

southern Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly...

Associated Press

Trial of a southern Arizona rancher charged in fatal shooting of unarmed migrant goes to the jury

Closing arguments were made against a southern Arizona rancher accused of shooting an undocumented migrant on his land to death on Thursday.

2 days ago

Donald Trump's hush money trial: 12 jurors selected...

Associated Press

Although 12 jurors were picked for Donald Trump’s hush money trial, selection of alternates is ongoing

A jury of 12 people was seated Thursday in former President Donald Trump's hush money trial. The proceedings are close to opening statements.

2 days ago

A anti-abortion supporter stands outside the House chamber, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at the Capit...

Associated Press

Democrats clear path to bring proposed repeal of Arizona’s near-total abortion ban to a vote

Democrats in the Arizona Senate cleared a path to bring a proposed repeal of the state’s near-total ban on abortions to a vote.

3 days ago

Most Americans are sleepy new Gallup poll finds...

Associated Press

Most Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, according to new Gallup poll

A new Gallup poll found that most Americans are sleepy — or, at least, they say they are. Multiple factors play into this.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Lawyer: Ex-Honduran president held like a ‘prisoner of war’