A former U.S. Marine who allegedly attempted to help a North Korean ambassador to Spain defect faces extradition by a U.S. district court Tuesday, which may make him easy prey for the North Korean regime.
Christopher Ahn, 39, a veteran of the Iraq War, is pending an extradition hearing in Los Angeles at U.S. District Court Tuesday over charges pressed against him by Spain. If handed over by the U.S., Ahn may be sentenced to 24 years in prison in Spain and, worse yet, could be at risk of assassination there by the North Korean regime.
Spain accused Ahn of a kidnapping attempt which stems from his participation in a 2019 plan to help the diplomat at the North Korean embassy in Madrid escape the North Korean dictatorship, BuzzFeed reported.
If convicted, Ahn may be sentenced to 24 years in prison, according to Fox News.
Christopher Ahn’s final extradition hearing is today in Los Angeles. If he loses, he faces 24 years in prison in Spain for the failed rescue of North Korean diplomats.
Read his story here: https://t.co/qVhNyzZuX3
— Bradley Hope (@bradleyhope) May 25, 2021
The plan was disrupted when the diplomat changed his mind, meaning Ahn and other activists who had raided the embassy had to spend time trying to convince the diplomat to proceed, BuzzFeed reported.
The Spanish police were alerted and interrupted the operation, according to Fox News.
Spanish authorities maintain that the group assaulted diplomats inside the embassy and had some officials tied up. However, surveillance videos show the activists casually walking into the building before having a conversation with one of the members of the North Korean corps at the office, as per the initially agreed-upon plan, according to Fox News.
“The FBI has confirmed that the North Korean government has threatened his life,” U.S. Magistrate Jean Rosenbluth wrote in 2019, according to Fox News. ” … He is apparently the target of a dictatorship’s efforts to murder him.” (RELATED: Biden Administration Mulls Sharing US Vaccine Supply With North Korea: Report)
“This is the first-ever instance of the United States government executing an arrest warrant issued by another state, albeit a friendly ally, Spain, but a case that is almost entirely based on North Korean testimonies,” Sung-Yoon Lee, Kim Koo-Korea Foundation professor in Korean Studies, told Fox News.
The federal judge in the case has also expressed fears over possible retributions by North Korea towards Ahn if he is to be extradited.
“He [Ahn] seemingly has more reason to fear assassination or other harm from North Korea should he be returned to Spain,” the judge said, according to Fox News.