May 12, 2021

Former First Lady of El Salvador faces preliminary hearing for corruption

Former First Lady of El Salvador faces preliminary hearing for corruption

The former first lady of El Salvador Ana Ligia de Saca, accused of corruption crimes by a million dollar embezzlement, faces a preliminary hearing on Monday, which is expected to last five days and which will decide whether the defendant goes to trial.

The Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) reported that the Seventh Court of Instruction of San Salvador has already formed the hearing, which is scheduled to last until Friday.

Miguel Flores Durel, defense lawyer for the former first lady, explained to the press that they are "waiting for the prosecution to give them an answer to carry out an abbreviated procedure", which was requested by the defendant in November 2018 to receive a slight penalty in exchange for confessing the crime of money laundering.

The Salvadoran legislation establishes that the Public Prosecutor's Office may agree with the defendants a minimum penalty, which can not be appealed in any instance, in exchange for their confession and that the judges must respect the treatment.

Elías Antonio Saca (2004-2009), ex-president, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and returned to the State 260 million dollars for embezzling more than 300 million of the state budget along with six ex-collaborators.

Ana Ligia de Saca and 15 others are accused of the money laundering and money laundering crimes committed to supposedly launder some 22 million dollars that were part of the more than 300 million that Saca embezzled during her administration.

Saca's wife is the first wife of a former Salvadoran president to be criminally prosecuted in the recent history of the Central American country.

Saca and his wife arrived at the Executive under the banner of the right-wing Republican Nationalist Alliance (Arena) from which the former president was expelled.

Arena, founded by the Army Major and supposed mastermind of the assassination of San Oscar Arnulfo Romero, Roberto D'Abuisson, has been identified by several cases of corruption during his time in the Presidency.


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