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London police detain jailed former Mexican governor's wife; faces extradition trial

Police in London on Tuesday detained Karime Macias, the wife of a disgraced former Mexican state governor who is serving a 9-year jail sentence for money laundering and links to organized crime, a spokesman for Mexico's attorney general's office said.

MEXICO CITY, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Police in London on Tuesday detained Karime Macias, the wife of a disgraced former Mexican state governor who is serving a 9-year jail sentence for money laundering and links to organized crime, a spokesman for Mexico's attorney general's office said.

Macias will now face an extradition trial in Britain, the spokesman said.

A judge in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, where Macias' husband Javier Duarte governed from 2010 to 2016, issued a warrant for her arrest in 2018 for the alleged misuse of over 112 million pesos ($5.9 million) in funds from a social welfare program.

Prosecutors argued that Duarte, a member of former President Enrique Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), headed an organization whose criminal operations were carried out in Veracruz, the eastern Gulf state of Campeche and Mexico City between 2011 and 2016.

Top Mexican auditor ASF said in 2016 that the irregularities in public funds under Duarte were the most it had ever seen.

A letter by Macias, which news site Animal Politico had obtained in December 2017 and posted online, indicated that Macias was living in Britain and that she had demanded back artwork, golf clubs and crystal that Mexican authorities had seized.

In the letter, Macias also said she was forced to shelter in Britain because of "persecution" back home in Mexico.

($1 = 19.1287 Mexican pesos)

(Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

((anthony.esposito@tr.com; +5255 5282 7140; Reuters Messaging: anthony.esposito.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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