Guatemala's former president Pérez Molina faces new charges of massive corruption

Otto Pérez Molina became president of Guatemala in 2012 but resigned in September last year amid a previous corruption case involving massive customs fraud.
June 17, 2016, 7:10pm
Photo by Moises Castillo/AP Images

Guatemala's already disgraced former president, Otto Pérez Molina, has been formally charged with corruption along with his second in command, Roxana Baldetti, and 68 other people.

Prosecutor Julio Barrios Prado accused the two former leaders of being involved in a massive scheme he said relied on shell companies that received millions of dollars. The prosecutor added that much of the money ended up in luxury purchases.

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"That money was used to buy goods and services for you and Baldetti including real estate and luxury vehicles, as well as $4.3 million in gifts," Barrios addressed the former president as the charges were announced during the hearing on Thursday.

Pérez Molina became president in early 2012 but resigned in September last year, and was immediately sent to prison, thanks to another major corruption scandal, known as La Linea. That scam revolved around public officials demanding that companies pay kickbacks in exchange for reduced import tariffs. The case also allegedly involved Baldetti who is currently in jail too.

Pérez Molina called the new charges "false" during Thursday's hearing.

"I was handling daily activities," he said in response to the allegation that he accepted bribes in return for awarding government contracts. "I didn't have time to follow every process."

Related: Jailed Former President of Guatemala Wants a TV

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