Honduras’ high court rejects San José plan

August 21, 2009

Honduras´ Supreme Court has rejected key points of a proposal drafted in Costa Rica that would return ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya to power.

The court said Sunday that Zelaya cannot be president nor can he avoid “having to submit to established procedures of the penal process” should he return. Zelaya faces accusations of crimes against the government, treason against the nation and abuse of power, the court said.

The court also affirmed the legitimacy of Roberto Micheletti – who was named president following Zelaya´s ouster – as part of a lawful “constitutional succession.” Detractors call Micheletti a coup leader.

The ruling was a blow to Costa Rican President Oscar Arias´ 11-point plan, drafted after intense talks between representatives from the rival Honduran groups in Arias´ San José residence. Known as the San José Agreement, the draft included the return of Zelaya to power and an amnesty for political crimes among its proposed steps toward reconciliation.

The decision came the day before a planned visit by a delegation from the Organization of American States (OAS), which backs Arias´ plan and has repeatedly called for Zelaya to be reinstated as president.

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