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World

Guatemala Congress Commission: President Should Face Trial

The recommendation will be decided upon by the full congress

In this Jan. 14, 2017 file photo, Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales delivers his first annual State of the Nation address to Congress in Guatemala City, photo: AP/Moises Castillo, File
3 months ago

GUATEMALA CITY – A five-member commission of Guatemalan legislators has recommended lifting President Jimmy Morales’ immunity from prosecution so he can face possible trial on campaign-finance accusations.

Commission head Julio Ixcamey said Monday the commission had found evidence that unregistered money had been in campaign funds. But he also said Morales “did not have a direct participation in registering funds and contributions.”

The recommendation will be decided upon by the full congress, where 105 of the 158 deputies would have to vote in favor.

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 Iván Velásquez Gómez, the head of a U.N. anti-corruption commission operating in Guatemala.

The president later ordered Velásquez Goméz’s immediate expulsion from the country, but that was swiftly overturned by the Constitutional Court.

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