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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 December, 2004, 02:23 GMT
Colombian drug baron in US court
Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela
Mr Orejuela has said he is innocent of the US charges
One of the most notorious Colombian drug traffickers, Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, has appeared before a court in the US state of Florida.

Mr Orejuela, 65, was extradited to the US last week to face charges of money-laundering and smuggling drugs into the US.

During the 1990s he ran the Cali drugs cartel, estimated to have controlled 80% of the global cocaine trade.

Mr Orejuela was ordered by the judge to reappear on 27 December.

Mr Orejuela appeared in court handcuffed and wearing khaki overalls, giving only his name and age to Judge William Turnoff.

Mr Orejuela's defence lawyer, Jose Quinon, said he would plead not guilty.

'The Chess Player'

Earlier, in a radio interview, Mr Orejuela told a Colombian station that he was innocent of both charges.

Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela is escorted by Colombian police to an airport in Bogota

He admitted drug trafficking before his capture in 1995 but said he had already been convicted and imprisoned in Colombia for that crime.

The Cali cartel was the richest and most powerful crime syndicate in the world, making profits of up to $8bn a year.

Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela was known as "the chess player" for his ability to out-wit and out-manoeuvre his opponents.

His brother, Miguel, is in prison in Colombia and faces possible extradition to the US.

Colombian drug baron extradited
04 Dec 04 |  Americas
Colombian druglord faces US jail
04 Nov 04 |  Americas
US goes after Cali cocaine bosses
24 Dec 03 |  Americas
Colombian baron re-arrested
13 Mar 03 |  Americas
Colombian drugs baron walks free
08 Nov 02 |  Americas

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