US still seeks to extradite ex-Venezuelan spy master

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration says it is exploring ways to extradite a former Venezuelan military spy chief accused of drug smuggling, even after Spain's National Court rejected a U.S. extradition request.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Cuba and Venezuela Carrie Filipetti said Thursday that the U.S. hopes the court will reconsider the case of retired Maj. Gen. Hugo Carvajal. She says Washington is talking with Spain's government "to try to identify what the next steps are."

Early this week, the Spanish court rejected the extradition request, finding it was politically motivated, as Carvajal claimed.

The ruling can be appealed.

Carvajal headed Venezuela's military intelligence agency for more than a decade and was a close aide to the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez.