WASHINGTON, April 19 (Reuters) - A former state governor for Mexico’s ruling party who faces charges in Mexico and the United States will be prosecuted by U.S. authorities first, the U.S. and Mexican attorneys general said on Wednesday.
Tomas Yarrington, a former governor of Tamaulipas state for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), was accused in 2013 by a federal grand jury in Texas of taking millions of dollars in bribes from the Gulf Cartel and other drug traffickers. He was arrested in Italy earlier this month.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Mexican Attorney General Raúl Cervantes Andrade said in a joint statement that the plan to extradite Yarrington to the United States depended on agreement by Italian authorities.
Yarrington is also wanted on trafficking charges in Mexico.
Sessions and Andrade said the United States and Mexico would also cooperate with one another in their prosecutions against Yarrington.
They said his capture was the result of cooperation among Mexican, Italian and U.S. law enforcement officials.
Yarrington, who has not made any public statement since his arrest in Florence on April 9, faces the prospect if convicted of two life sentences in the United States and up to 20 years in a Mexican prison.
He governed Tamaulipas between 1999 and 2005, and is one of several politicians in the PRI facing prosecution for suspected corruption. He was suspended from the PRI in 2012. (Reporting by Eric Walsh)