updated 3/13/2008 3:33:24 PM ET 2008-03-13T19:33:24

Alleged Colombian drug lord Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia can be extradited to the United States to face drug, racketeering and murder charges, Brazil's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Now Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will have the final word on whether to extradite Ramirez Abadia, accused of being a leader of Colombia's powerful Norte del Valle cartel.

No timetable has been set for Silva to decide whether Ramirez Abadia should stay in Brazil to face local money laundering charges before being extradited.

Ramirez Abadia faces three U.S. federal indictments and has said he prefers to avoid charges in Brazil and begin confinement in the United States as quickly as possible.

The 11 members of Brazil's high court voted unanimously in favor of the extradition.

One of the requirements the court considered was whether the United States would commit itself to sentence Ramirez Abadia to no more than 30 years in jail, the maximum allowed by Brazilian law, according the attorney general's office.

Ramirez Abadia fled to Brazil after a drug conviction in Colombia and allegedly ran the cartel's money laundering operation here.

Nicknamed "Chupeta," or "Lollipop," Ramirez Abadia was arrested last year in Brazil. The U.S. requested his extradition in October.

In January, Ramirez Abadia offered to hand over tens of millions of dollars in exchange for a quick extradition to the United States and his wife's release from jail, but a judge rejected that offer and ordered him to turn over all his assets without setting conditions.

Ramirez Abadia also had offered to give U.S. authorities information on three accomplices living abroad and one in Brazil.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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