Guatemala’s Pérez Molina dodges crucial questions during second court hearing

By Jill Replogle

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala — Many Guatemalans and interested observers were glued Friday to live feeds of disgraced ex-president Otto Pérez Molina’s second appearance in court. The white-haired, hawk-nosed former general, who faces potential jail time for his alleged participation in a massive corruption scandal, appeared composed but refused to answer questions regarding the origin of his vast personal fortune and his ties to the ringleaders of the customs fraud network known as “La Línea.”

Pérez Molina stepped down on September 2 after Guatemala’s congress voted to strip him of his prosecutorial immunity and a criminal court issued a warrant for his arrest. He is accused of masterminding a huge customs fraud network in tandem with his former Vice President Roxana Baldetti.

Baldetti has been formally charged with customs fraud, illicit association and bribery and is currently under preventive detention in the Santa Teresa women’s prison in Guatemala City.

The embattled former president could suffer the same fate and his future looks increasingly grim after the court heard 15 wiretap recordings that allegedly prove his involvement in La Línea.

The recordings indicate that Pérez Molina had a close relationship with Salvador Estuardo González  Álvarez, known as “Eco,” who was allegedly La Línea’s second … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times