Guatemala judge orders former president tried for corruption

AP News
Posted: Oct 27, 2017 7:52 PM
Guatemala judge orders former president tried for corruption

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — A judge in Guatemala on Friday sent former President Otto Perez Molina and his vice president to trial for corruption involving an alleged scheme in which businesses paid bribes to avoid customs duties.

Judge Miguel Angel Galvez's decision came more than two years after Guatemala's Public Prosecutor's Office and the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala released an investigation into the alleged scheme, called "La Linea" or "The Line."

Prosecutors said the ring involving government officials, customs agents and businesspeople defrauded the state of millions of dollars.

Both Perez Molina and former Vice President Roxana Baldetti, who governed the Central American country from 2012 to 2015, deny the charges against them. They have accused Attorney General Thelma Aldana and international commission chief Ivan Velasquez of inventing a case against them.

Among the evidence provided were thousands of wiretaps of officials in their government apparently agreeing to distribute bribes, documents and testimonies. Baldetti is accused in four corruption cases and Perez Molina in two.

Perez Molina resigned and was jailed in 2012 following massive street protests.