Honduras Supreme Court warns Zelaya will face trial upon return to country

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Honduras [official website, in Spanish] said Saturday that if ousted president Manuel Zelaya [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] returns to the country, he will stand trial for treason and abuse of power. There are also reports that the interim government has confined Venezuelan and Argentinian diplomats to their embassies [Xinhua report] and is threatening their expulsion from Honduras. Also Saturday, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH), which is part of the Organization of American States (OAS) [official website], released their preliminary findings [press release, in Spanish] from their recent visit [JURIST report] to Honduras. The panel found that the interim government has committed human rights abuses and urged a return to democratic rule.

Last week, the Honduran Office of the Prosecutor of Common Crimes indicted 24 Zelaya supporters [JURIST report] on charges of sedition and damaging public property. As a result of its refusal to reinstate Zelaya, the Honduran government has faced sanctions from the international community. The European Union [official website] and several Latin American countries have withdrawn their ambassadors. The UN General Assembly approved [press release] a resolution on June 30 calling members to not recognize the Honduran government until Zelaya is reinstated. On July 4, the OAS expelled Honduras after the Honduran Supreme Court refused [JURIST report] to reinstate Zelaya, and the Inter-American Development Bank suspended its aid package to the country. Negotiations between Zelaya and Micheletti have been going on intermittently through Costa Rican President Oscar Arias without any results. Zelaya has made several failed attempts to return to office, including attempting to fly into the country accompanied by international leaders. The US has condemned [DOS briefing transcript] Zelaya's removal and supports his return.

 

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