Judge: US Marine Could Be Murdered if Extradited to Spain

Judge hopes higher authority will intervene
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2019 9:00 AM CDT
Updated May 11, 2022 12:00 AM CDT
Marine Arrested in Raid of North Korean Embassy
North Korea's embassy in Madrid.   (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

(Newser) Update: The life of a US Marine veteran accused of participating in a 2019 raid on the North Korean embassy in Spain may be in danger if he is extradited to Spain to face charges, a judge warned in her recent ruling on the case. She ruled that Christopher Ahn is eligible for extradition, but noted that North Korea wants him dead and could kill him if he exits the United States, NBC News reports. "I must decide whether to certify his extradition to Spain, where North Korea can much more easily murder him," she wrote. "Although I conclude that the law requires me to certify, I do not think it’s the right result, and I hope that a higher court will either tell me I’m wrong or itself block the extradition." Ahn was ordered to surrender to the US Marshals Service but is allowed to file a challenge; the State Department will decide. Our original story from April 20, 2019, follows:

Federal agents have arrested a Marine in the raid of North Korea's embassy in Spain in which a group trying to overthrow the Kim Dynasty says it was involved. Christopher Ahn, who belongs to the group, appeared in court Friday in Los Angeles, the Washington Post reports. The judge ordered the case sealed at his attorney's request. North Korea has called the raid, in which embassy employees were tied up and computers stolen, "a grave terrorist attack." US agents also raided the apartment of Adrian Hong, the leader of Free Joseon, which issued a statement saying it was "dismayed" at the arrest, per the BBC. The revolutionary group had tried to help the US by turning over embassy computers that it said held "enormous" intelligence value, per the Post. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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