Former Guatemalan president Otto Pérez Molina was formally charged by prosecutors on Wednesday following the investigation into the corruption scandal that led to his resignation. Prosecutor Francisco Sandoval said [AP report] that Pérez Molina is suspected of illicit association, customs fraud and bribery. Pérez Molina was jailed [JURIST report] pending investigation in September following an indictment over corruption charges. The judge gave the prosecution three months to conduct the investigation. The judge thought it was beneficial for Pérez Molina to remain in jail during the investigation because if free he may have used his influence to intimidate witnesses and hinder the investigation. The prosecutor’s investigation provided sufficient evidence [El Periódico report, in Spanish] for the court to order trial against Pérez Molina for his suspected involvement in the criminal scheme calling itself The Line.
Pérez Molina sent [JURIST report] a letter [El Periódico materials, in Spanish] to both the Guatemalan congress and reporters in September 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] by 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. In July the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala [official website] reported that approximately a quarter of the money used for Guatemalan political campaigns comes from criminal groups.