22:54 02.10.2019 (updated 23:06 02.10.2019) Short URL
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández reportedly received millions of dollars in bribes from drug traffickers, including Mexican Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, a US prosecutor said on Wednesday.
The accusation was made at the opening of the trial of the brother of Honduran President Juan Antonio Hernández, a former parliamentarian also known as Tony. He was arrested at Miami airport in November 2018 on charges of importing cocaine into the United States,
"The defendant was protected by the current president, who received millions of dollars in bribes from drug traffickers like 'El Chapo' Guzmán, who personally handed the defendant $ 1 million to his brother," Attorney Jason Richman said. quoted by the AFP agency.
Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín Guzmán, known as "El Chapo", was sentenced to life imprisonment by the US Federal Court in July this year. During his trial, Mexican President Henrique Peña Nieto was accused by a lawyer of receiving bribes from the trafficker.
'False, ridiculous and absurd'
The Honduran president used Twitter to classify the accusations as "false, absurd and ridiculous."
The defendants asked jurors to find Tony Hernández guilty of trafficking and illegal drug possession. The former congressman pleaded not guilty. According to Richman, the Honduran president's brother plays a central role in a "sophisticated state-sponsored organization," which operates with assistance from the Central American government, military and police officers.
"Most importantly, the defendant was protected by his brother and had access to him," he said. Believing himself to be immune to the law, Tony Hernández, according to the prosecutor, became "arrogant" to the point of stamping his initials on cocaine packages and boasting of his arsenal.
Tony Hernández's lawyer, however, said the case was based on the lies of traffickers who wanted revenge on the president and his brother.
Juan Orlando Hernández, who is in his second term, has previously denied involvement in drug trafficking. In his address to the United Nations Assembly last week, he said that by his "fight against organized crime" he had become the target of a "dirty campaign led by drug traffickers".
His office on Wednesday reported that Honduran security forces had stripped the country's six most powerful cartels and extradited 24 people to the US.
. (tagsToTranslate) Honduran President (t) trial of Honduran President's brother (t) Honduras drug trafficking