Buenos Aires Times

latin america Jimmy Morales' immunity should be lifted, say lawmakers

Guatemala congress commission: President should face trial

Prosecutors allege around US$825,000 in 2015 campaign financing was hidden.

Monday 11 September, 2017
President Jimmy Morales.
President Jimmy Morales. Foto:AFP.

More Latin america News

A five-member commission of Guatemalan legislators has recommended lifting President Jimmy Morales' immunity from prosecution following a UN probe, so he can face possible trial on campaign-finance accusations.

Commission head Julio Ixcamey said late Sunday night the recommendation will be submitted to the full congress, where 105 of the 158 deputies would have to vote in favour. At least 105 deputies need to back the motion to lift Morales' immunity. But analysts believe that is unlikely, given the alliances that the president's conservative National Convergence Front party has.

"We declare ourselves in favor of the immunity being lifted," Ixcamey told journalists.

Prosecutors allege that about $825,000 in financing for Morales’ 2015 campaign was hidden and that other expenditures had no explainable source of funding. The president has denied any wrongdoing.

The investigation involved Ivan Velasquez, the head of the UN International Committee Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) operating in Guatemala. The president later ordered Velasquez’s immediate expulsion from the country, but that was swiftly overturned by the Constitutional Court.

The CICIG is widely respected in Guatemala. It helped Guatemalan prosecutors investigate a corruption scandal that toppled the previous president, Otto Perez, in 2015, paving the way for the election of Morales, a former TV comic with no previous political experience who campaigned on anti-corruption promises.


- AP/AFP


Poll

Op-Ed

Top Stories

  1. 1Police suspect 12-year-old girl's suicide linked to WhatsApp terror game MomoPolice suspect 12-year-old girl's suicide linked to WhatsApp terror game Momo
  2. 2Messi's brother Matias sentenced for illegal gun possession
  3. 3Macri: Time, pesos and politics
  4. 4INDEC: Inflation rose by 3.1% in July
  5. 5Mattis says US will work more closely with Argentina
  6. 6Eight minutes from our future
  7. 7South Americans spread gospel of mate at World Cup
  8. 8Mattis aide to be nominated to head US Southern Command
  9. 9The names in the notebooks: who's who in the corruption scandal
  10. 10Macri Group buys, resells 6 wind farms skipping tender process