Salvadoran prosecutor accuses ex-president Funes before the court for bribes

Salvadoran prosecutor accuses ex-president Funes before the court for bribes

The Salvadoran Prosecutor's Office formally accused ex-president Mauricio Funes (2009-2014) before a peace tribunal for allegedly bribing ex-prosecutor Luis Martínez (2012-2015) to avoid investigating a controversial truce between the gangs.

"In relation to Mr. Carlos Mauricio Funes Cartagena, he is being accused of active bribery," one of the prosecutors in the case told reporters, noting that the crime carries between 6 and 10 years in prison.

The Salvadoran Prosecutor ordered Tuesday the arrest of Funes for allegedly paying some $ 935,000 to former prosecutor Martinez to avoid investigation into the armistice of the gangs, the irregular construction of a dam and other cases.

According to the prosecutor's investigation, Funes gave Martinez a vehicle valued at $ 35,000, $ 180,000 in a "personal" manner and sent him up to $ 720,000 with businessman Miguel Menéndez, accused of heading with the former president a structure with which they allegedly embezzled more than 351 million state dollars.

"The former president bought impunity," said the current Attorney General, Douglas Meléndez, at a press conference on Wednesday, who said that in this case 13 people of the 25 ordered by the Prosecutor's Office have been arrested.

The exmandatario, asylum in Nicaragua, said yesterday in his social networks that the new case against him is "weak" and that the Prosecutor's Office "does not present evidence."

Funes attributed to the armistice between the gangs a noticeable drop in homicide figures, but after its end the country experienced sustained rises in violent deaths to reach 103 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2015.

This process against Funes joins another one that the exmandatario faces for the alleged misappropriation of more than 351 million dollars of the public budget during his Government.


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