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El Salvador ex-president dies awaiting trial for corruption

[JURIST] Former president of El Salvador Francisco Flores died Saturday in San Salvador while under house arrest and waiting to stand trial on embezzlement charges. Officials from his Nationalist Republican Alliance party say [AP report] that the cause of death was a cerebral hemorrhage. Flores was charged [Guardian report] with embezzlement and illegal enrichment for allegedly diverting USD $15 million from Taiwanese donations to his personal and political bank accounts. The donations were intended to help victims of a 2001 earthquake in the region. Flores also faced charges [AP report] for failing to report to a committee of the Legislative Assembly [official website, in Spanish] tasked with investigating where the missing donations were deposited.

Flores turned himself in [BBC report] to authorities in September 2014 after a warrant was issued for his arrest in May. "I have given myself over to the court voluntarily and out of respect for the law," he stated after his surrender. Flores was taken into custody [JURIST report] that month on the corruption charges after public outcry that he remained on house arrest. Flores was returned to house arrest in November 2014. In January 2014 the country's current president Maurico Funes stated that Flores attempted to flee [BBC report] the country amid the allegations of corruption and embezzlement. Funes claimed that Flores was attempting to escape to the neighboring country of Guatemala. Former Guatemalan President Otto PĂ©rez Molina is also facing corruption charges [JURIST report] and was recently detained pending investigation.

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