EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A former governor of Chihuahua, jailed in Florida at the behest of the Mexican government who accuses him of corruption, has filed a lawsuit seeking $150 million in compensation for “moral damages.”

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Chihuahua, Mexico. “They violated his presumption of innocence. […] (The current governor) acted as judge, prosecutor and victim during the entire process, they exhibited him (former Gov. Cesar Duarte) as corrupt and a corruptor,” Duarte’s lawyer Juan Mendoza told El Heraldo de Chihuahua.

Duarte is also seeking the return of seized properties worth at least $35 million.

U.S. Marshals arrested Duarte in Miami in July 2020 in connection to charges in Mexico that he misappropriated more than $100 million during his term as governor of Chihuahua 2010-2016. He remains jailed in a Florida prison awaiting the outcome of an extradition process.

Chihuahua Gov. Javier Corral

Gov. Javier Corral, who initiated the criminal probe against his predecessor, on Thursday called the lawsuit a “smokescreen.”

“He will have to answer to all these charges. (The lawsuit) is an act of cynicism on his part,” Corral said.

He characterized the legal maneuver as “a second attempt to ransack” the state.

“It’s a smokescreen, there’s nothing in the law that worries us,” Corral said. “This is a legal maneuver whose purpose is to foster an environment of confusion and lies.”

Special counsel Jorge Espinoza this week told reporters he expects U.S. Magistrate Judge Lauren F. Louis of the Southern District of Florida to rule on the extradition request before the end of August.