Corruption Trial Back on Track for Guatemalan President Pérez Molina


EspañolOn Tuesday, June 30, Guatemala’s top court denied an appeal from Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina to avoid prosecution. The next day, the court also revoked a precautionary measure requested by former prosecutor Karen Fisher, effectively removing the last barrier for a congressional committee to proceed with its corruption investigation.

Guatemala's top court has ruled President Pérez Molina must face charges of corruption.
Guatemala’s top court has ruled President Pérez Molina must face charges of corruption. (Wikimedia)

“Our ruling is that the circumstances of the appeal are not favorable, since there is no serious damage that may arise in this case, so we have denied the appeal,” Chief Justice Gloria Porras explained.

Pérez Molina said the appeal was filed based on council from “legal advisers of the presidency, the general secretary, private secretary, and the  attorney general.”

The president’s legal troubles began in May, when Congressman Amílcar Pop accused him of playing a role in both a tax-fraud scheme and the inflated contracts worth over US$14.5 million awarded to Mexican pharmaceutical company Pisa to provide treatment for kidney-related conditions.

On May 20, authorities arrested Juan de Dios Rodríguez, who served as president of the Guatemalan Institute for Social Security and was at one time Pérez Molina’s personal secretary.

The congressional committee aims to strip Pérez Molina of the immunity that protects him from prosecution, so that he can face charges of criminal conspiracy, covering up illegal activities, and failing to fulfill his obligations as president.

Roxana Baldetti stepped down as vice president in May amid mass protests demanding her resignation. In the weeks that followed, Guatemalans contined to call for Pérez Molina to resign as well.

Source: Siglo 21.

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