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At the forum "Young and Committed", Commissioner Iván Velásquez called upon the youth to join forces in fighting impunity.

PRESS RELEASE 020

10-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE REQUESTED FOR MILITARY OFFICIALS

Guatemala, 4 June 2014. The Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) and the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) requested that the retired military officials Jacobo Esdras Salán Sánchez and Napoleón Rojas Méndez receive a 10-year prison sentence and that each be ordered to pay a fine of GTQ 25,000 for their alleged participation in transporting GTQ 30 million to the National Mortgage Credit Bank (CHN). The funds were allegedly part of the GTQ 120 million misappropriated from the Ministry of National Defence in 2001.

During the closing stages of the trial, the MP and CICIG requested that the Second Trial Court impose the punishments established for the crime of embezzlement upon Salán Sánchez and Rojas Méndez as well as disqualifying them from holding public office.

At the hearing, the MP and CICIG described the involvement of Salán Sánchez and Rojas Méndez, former security advisors of former President Alfonso Portillo Cabrera, in misappropriating GTQ 120 million. Under orders of former President Portillo, the GTQ 30 million was transported to the CHN, where it was received by José Armando Llort Quiteño, then CHN President. The money was transported by Salán Sánchez and Rojas Méndez on 5, 6 and 9 March 2001, as confirmed by Llort Quiteño and Salomón Abraham Molina Girón via videoconference from New York City. The pair are witnesses in these criminal proceedings.

During the trial, testimony, expert witness opinions, and material evidence were presented against the two former military officials, including certificates of the audits of the documentation of the Ministry of National Defence (MDN), which were conducted in 2001; the original cheques used to withdraw GTQ 120 million from the Banco de Guatemala; deposit slips of the 30 million deposited at the CHN; a CICIG report indicating the chronological order in which the facts took place and detailing the involvement of the two military officials.

Furthermore, the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) provided Army bank statements demonstrating the place, date and means used to siphon the millions; the work contracts of the military officials detailing their work relationship with former President Portillo; and testimony given as early evidence regarding the involvement of the accused in misappropriating the money.

The Court is expected to issue the final judgement in this case this week.


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  The Republic of Guatemala, a mountainous country that lies in the Central American isthmus, has an estimated population of 13 million people.
  Guatemala won its independence in 1821, following almost three centuries of Spanish colonial rule.
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