• Squaremouth travel insurance button 468x106
  • Tico Travel Surfing
  • Costa Rica Real Estate

Guatemalan legislative commission recommends lifting President Pérez Molina’s immunity

August 29, 2015

GUATEMALA CITY – A special congressional commission on Saturday recommended the removal of Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina’s immunity from criminal prosecution due to his alleged involvement in a massive customs fraud case that has brought the administration to the brink of collapse.

“The investigative commission recommends to the full Congress that Otto Pérez Molina should be submitted to the tribunals of justice and that his immunity should be removed,” opposition lawmaker and commission member Jorge Barrios said at a press conference.

To remove the president’s immunity, Congress must call a full session and receive at least 105 affirmative votes of 158 lawmakers. On Monday, the legislative directorate is expected to formally receive the commission’s recommendation and set a date for the hearing.

Prior to issuing its unanimous recommendation, the five members of the commission reviewed a written report submitted by President Pérez Molina in which he denied his involvement in the so-called “La Línea” scandal, which made headlines on April 16.

Must read: Why Guatemala’s Pérez Molina turns a deaf ear to widespread calls for his resignation

Pérez Molina’s attorney, César Calderón, told reporters that the law did not require the president to be present at the commission hearing. Calderón reiterated that his client would not step down despite massive public protests calling for his resignation.

According to a criminal investigation by the U.N.-supported International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), President Pérez Molina was one of the masterminds of the La Línea criminal network, which sought bribes from businesses in exchange for evasion of customs duties.

On Aug. 21, prosecutors and CICIG filed a formal complaint with Guatemala’s Supreme Court seeking the removal of the president’s immunity from prosecution. The court accepted the request and ordered Congress to begin hearings on the matter.

Pérez Molina’s former vice president, Roxana Baldetti, is being held in preventive prison pending a trial on her alleged involvement in the case. She was charged with illicit association, customs fraud and bribery last Tuesday.

Read all our Guatemala coverage here

You may be interested

Slothy Sunday: Onward and upward
Sloth Sundays
299 views
Sloth Sundays
299 views

Slothy Sunday: Onward and upward

Duncan Coleman - February 23, 2020

January 26, 11:20 a.m. was the last time I saw Pebbles. Pebbles, the tamandua anteater I had been observing and…

Pic of the Day: Hot chocolate with a garden view
Pic of the Day
50 views
Pic of the Day
50 views

Pic of the Day: Hot chocolate with a garden view

The Tico Times - February 22, 2020

Minutes outside of San José toward Cerro Zurquí, Sibú Chocolate serves some of the finest Costa Rican delicacies around. Their…

After public criticism, Costa Rican gov. repeals decree that created department with access to ‘confidential’ information
Costa Rica
69 views
Costa Rica
69 views

After public criticism, Costa Rican gov. repeals decree that created department with access to ‘confidential’ information

The Tico Times - February 21, 2020

The Costa Rican government repealed a decree that had created a Data Analysis Unit, after public criticism questioned its purpose…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!