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US extradites former Colombian agriculture minister

Andre Felipe Arias is accused of diverting funds that were supposed to be used by a government program while serving in that position.

Andrés Felipe Arias after AIS scandal

AP | MICHAEL BALSAMO

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The U.S. government has extradited a former Colombian official to face a prison sentence in the South American nation after he was convicted of embezzlement and other charges.

Leer en español: Estados Unidos extradita al ex ministro de agricultura colombiano

The Justice Department said Friday that Andres Felipe Arias Leiva was returned to Colombia by the U.S. Marshals Service. Arias Leiva had served as Colombia's minister of agriculture and rural development from 2005 to 2009.

He is accused of diverting funds that were supposed to be used by a government program while serving in that position.

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Officials say Arias Leiva is a Colombian citizen and came to the U.S. in 2014. He was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison after being convicted of embezzlement and conclusion of a contract without fulfilling the legal requirements.

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