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Argentina's Supreme Court has ruled that an American who took refuge and started a new life in the South American country can be extradited to face charges that he killed his wife over a decade ago, a court spokeswoman confirmed Saturday.

Kurt Sonnenfeld moved to Argentina in 2003 and sought asylum after prosecutors in Denver charged him with first-degree murder. The decision to extradite him brings to an end a longstanding dispute between the U.S. Justice Department and Argentine courts that centered in part on differences over the death penalty.

In the ruling, which was made Dec. 11, the justices said U.S. prosecutors had assured Argentina that "the death penalty will not be imposed, or if it were ruled, it will not be exercised in this case." The ruling said the executive branch will have final say on an extradition and doesn't specify when it may take place.

Maria Bourdin, a spokeswoman for Argentina's Supreme Court, confirmed the ruling but declined to comment beyond what was in it. Calls to the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires on Saturday seeking comment were not immediately returned.


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