The ex-president Guatemalan Otto Pérez Molina (2012-2015) sat on Monday before the defendants’ bench, six years after his resignation and capture after being accused of a notorious case of state corruption in the country.
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Along with former Vice President Roxana Badeltti, also accused in the so-called “La Línea” case, Pérez Molina arrived at the Court of Higher Risk B of the Judicial Branch for the start of the trial against him along with some thirty people.
The case was uncovered by the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a United Nations body that sought to dismantle parallel criminal structures within the State.
In statements to journalists, Pérez Molina said that he hopes to prove his innocence in this oral and public trial, because there is no evidence against him.
The former soldier was arrested in September 2015, hours after resigning from his position in the “La Línea” case, in which he is accused of enriching himself through a parallel structure in the tax collection agency.
Pérez Molina, Baldetti and other former officials of the Patriotic Party political group would have benefited from millions of dollars in bribes for the customs fraud generated by “La Línea”, discovered by the CICIG and the Public Ministry based on wiretaps.
The former president and the former vice president are also accused in at least three other judicial processes for state corruption.
Pérez Molina said this Monday that the CICIG and the then attorney general and head of the MP, Thelma Aldana, exiled in the United States, “created” the complaint against him but without having evidence.
BALDETTI SAYS HE HAS COVID-19
For her part, the former vice president, who was arrested for this case in August 2015, argued in High Risk Court B that she does not have a lawyer to defend her from the accusation in the “La Línea” case, which also gave way to the dismantling of other acts of corruption, including the “Co-optation of the State” case.
Baldetti also assured that he has the symptoms of covid-19, although he clarified that the National Institute of Forensic Sciences (INACIF) did not test him before appearing in this trial.
“If I have covid, I have already infected everyone,” said the former vice president, detained in a women’s prison located in the north of the Guatemalan capital.
The “La Línea” case is one of the biggest corruption scandals uncovered in Guatemala and was uncovered in April 2015.
This case gave rise to an unprecedented fight against corruption in Guatemala between 2015 and 2019, when it was interrupted by the expulsion in 2019 of the CICIG from the Central American country by decision of President Jimmy Morales (2016-2020).
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