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HomeNewsGuatemalan journalist calls costs towards him a 'set-up'

Guatemalan journalist calls costs towards him a ‘set-up’

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GUATEMALA CITY — A outstanding Guatemalan journalist’s preliminary listening to earlier than a decide was suspended Wednesday when the decide introduced that the defendant’s legal professionals have been additionally targets of the federal government’s investigation.

Following the listening to, José Rubén Zamora, president of the newspaper El Periodico, stated that the case “is a set-up successfully designed and mounted by the president, legal professional basic and different individuals.”

Lawyer Normal Consuelo Porras’ workplace arrested Zamora on a cost of cash laundering, however throughout Wednesday’s listening to Zamora and his legal professionals have been additionally accused of extortion.

The brand new allegation meant Zamora’s legal professionals may not defend their consumer from one thing they themselves have been accused of.

“Ethically it isn’t applicable,” stated Romeo Montoya, one among Zamora’s legal professionals.

The extortion accusation got here from businessman Ronald Navarijo García, who himself had beforehand been arrested on corruption costs for allegedly colluding with administrators of Banco de los Trabajadores, or the Employees’ Financial institution, to embezzle its funds. Navarijo is beneath home arrest and his trial has not been scheduled.

Navarijo alleges Zamora extorted him for about $25,000 to affect the case towards him.

Zamora stated he lately met with Navarijo. In that assembly, he stated, Navarijo instructed him that prosecutor Rafael Curruchiche, who’s prosecuting Zamora, requested Navarijo for 15% of the greater than $4.2 million that the Lawyer Normal’s Workplace has frozen within the businessman’s case.

Zamora added that Navarijo instructed him that Curruchiche requested for one thing else, too: that Navarijo report “individuals who have been bothersome for the Lawyer Normal’s Workplace and the regime.”

The journalist was arrested at his dwelling Friday by brokers and police armed with assault rifles. Authorities additionally raided the printing presses for El Periodico.

Press freedom teams have complained in regards to the arrest of the award-winning Zamora. Critics of President Alejandro Giammattei’s administration say his arrest is an try and silence a outstanding critic whose newspaper was recognized for investigations uncovering corruption and a strong message to different voices of dissent in Guatemala.

The U.S. authorities has sanctioned Guatemala’s legal professional basic in addition to Curruchiche, who Porras put in control of corruption investigations, for allegedly being concerned in corruption themselves.

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