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Guatemala ex-president accused of corruption

[JURIST] Guatemalan Attorney General Thelma Aldana on Thursday accused [video, in Spanish] former president Otto Pérez Molina and ex-vice president Roxana Baldetti of taking nearly 130 million dollars in bribes beginning in 2011. Aldana and the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) [official website] presented allegations [press release, in Spanish] of illicit campaign finance, illegal association, passive bribery and money laundering. CICIG said Pérez Molina and Baldetti are may have used most of the money to fund their own lavish lifestyles [Reuters report]. The accusations are the most recent in a string of bribery charges being levied against the former president. The charges also implicate other powerful politicians and business operators. Aldana ordered an estimated 50 people to be arrested in connection with the crimes.

In April Aldana accused Pérez Molina of accepting part of a $25 million bribe while in office. In December Pérez Molina was charged [JURIST report] by prosecutors, suspected of illicit association, customs fraud and bribery. Pérez Molina was jailed [JURIST report] pending investigation in September following an indictment over corruption charges. Also in September Pérez Molina sent [JURIST report] a letter [El Periódico materials, in Spanish] to both the Guatemalan congress and reporters announcing his resignation and his intention to "stand before justice." The day before his resignation, Pérez Molina was stripped of his presidential immunity [JURIST report] in a unanimous vote by congress. After Pérez Molina announced [JURIST report] in August that he had no plans to resign, Guatemala's Supreme Court approved [JURIST report] prosecutors' requests to impeach the president.

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