A Costa Rican judge has ordered the extradition of former state Sen. Paul B. Carpenter to the United States, where he faces sentencing on political corruption charges.
In announcing the decision Wednesday, U.S. Atty. Charles J. Stevens expressed confidence that the onetime Democratic politician would be returned to the United States within a few months.
But Carpenter’s American lawyer, Charles F. Bloodgood, said it could be years before appeals are exhausted.
Carpenter is being held in a detention center in the Costa Rican capital of San Jose, where he fled after being convicted on 11 counts of mail fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice. Those crimes carry a maximum sentence of seven years and three months in prison.
Bloodgood, who visited Carpenter last week, described his client as “hopeful” and “stoic in his present situation.”
Carpenter fled the country early this year, telling the federal judge in his case that he was seeking “a more adventuristic” treatment for advanced prostate cancer. Carpenter has said he expects to die within two years.
Bloodgood said Carpenter continues to take standard medication for his cancer as well as unconventional chemotherapy.