After four unsuccessful extradition hearings, U.S. officials reportedly initiated deportation proceedings Friday against a former Mexican prosecutor who is accused of graft and obstructing an investigation into the murder of his brother.
U.S. Magistrate Stanley Chesler in Newark, N.J., earlier Friday had denied Mexico's latest extradition request for former Deputy Atty. Gen. Mario Ruiz Massieu, who was arrested in March as he boarded a flight to Spain at Newark International Airport, carrying thousands of undeclared dollars.
But before Ruiz Massieu, 44, could savor his legal victory, U.S. marshals handed him over to agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
"Mr. Ruiz Massieu has been charged with being deportable . . . as an alien whose presence or activities in the United States the secretary of state has reasonable ground to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the U.S.," said Dan Kane, an INS spokesman in Washington.
A State Department spokesman said he could not immediately explain what that threat was.
Earlier, Chesler ruled that, while prosecutors had shown that Ruiz Massieu has accumulated vast sums of money, they had not proved that the money was embezzled from the attorney general's office.
Ruiz Massieu is charged in Mexico with obstructing the investigation into the September 1994 assassination of his brother, Francisco, the ruling party's second-ranking official. The former president's brother, Raul Salinas de Gortari, has been charged with masterminding the murder plot.
Lawyers for Mario Ruiz Massieu, saying their client fears for his life if he is returned to Mexico, have filed a request for political asylum.