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Former Guatemalan President Sentenced to Five Years in Jail

By: PanAm Post Staff - May 23, 2014, 10:10 am

EspañolOn Thursday, a New York court sentenced the former President of Guatemala Alfonso Portillo to five years and 10 months in prison for laundering Taiwanese government bribes through US banks.

In March, Portillo had already pleaded guilty to a charge of money laundering conspiracy. He admitted to taking a US$2.5 million bribe during his presidency to maintain Guatemala’s diplomatic recognition of Taiwan as a sovereign nation, independent of mainland China.

A New York Southern District prosecutor accused the former leader of turning his 2000-2004 presidential term into a “personal ATM.”

Portillo, 62, was arrested in Guatemala in 2010 and extradited to the United States in 2013. He has spent four years in jail and will remain in prison until the end of his sentence.

US District Judge Robert Patterson in New York also ordered Portillo to forfeit the US$2.5 million bribe.

Source: BBC Mundo.