Mexico extradites former Guatemala president to face corruption charges

[JURIST] Former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo was extradited [press release, in Spanish] Tuesday from Mexico to Guatemala, where he is accused of authorizing transfers of $15.8 million from the budget of the Guatemalan Ministry of Defense during his presidency from 2000 to 2004. Portillo fled to Mexico at the end of his term amid corruption allegations, reportedly fearing he would not be afforded a fair trial [BBC report] in Guatemala. The Mexican Attorney General [official website, in Spanish] said that after Portillo surrendered himself to Mexican authorities, Tuesday's extradition took place under Article 10 of the Mexico-Guatemala Treaty of Extradition [PDF text, in Spanish] and Article 34 of Mexico's Law of International Extradition [PDF text, in Spanish]. Portillo, who maintains his innocence, has agreed to face the charges and was released on bail [AFP] after his transfer to Guatemala. AP has more. The Guatemala Times has local coverage.

In 2006, Mexico signed an extradition order [JURIST report] to hand Portillo over to Guatemalan officials, but he challenged its validity in court. In January 2008, the Mexican Supreme Court upheld the order [BBC report] as constitutional. Numerous members of Portillo's cabinet have been arrested and tried [Reuters report] on fraud charges during his time in exile.



 

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