The director of a Guatemalan investigative newspaper will stand trial on expenses of cash laundering, affect peddling and blackmail, a decide dominated Thursday.
José Rubén Zamora of El Periodico has been held for 4 months amid criticism that his arrest was politically motivated by an administration all in favour of silencing vital journalists.
Prosecutors accuse Zamora of asking a pal to deposit a $38,000 donation to cover the supply of the funds. Zamora has mentioned the cash from a donor who wished to stay nameless was to maintain the newspaper operating throughout a monetary disaster after the federal government pulled its promoting.
Zamora’s members of the family have mentioned varied enterprise folks had been harassed and pressured to cease shopping for promoting within the newspaper. El Periodico gained a repute for hard-hitting investigations into authorities corruption, together with the administration of President Alejandro Giammattei.
El Periodico was pressured to cease publishing a printed version Nov. 30 as a consequence of its monetary difficulties.
Earlier than Thursday’s listening to, El Periodico’s monetary director, Flora Silva, pleaded responsible to cash laundering and was sentenced to 6 years in jail with three years commuted for admitting wrongdoing.
Throughout a recess, Zamora advised reporters, “My finest situation is to get out (of jail) Jan. 14, 2024, when Giammattei leaves the presidency. I’ve endurance and the reality on my facet.”
The US and worldwide human rights teams have been vital of the deterioration of judicial independence in Guatemala. Greater than 30 judges, prosecutors and different members of the authorized system have fled into exile to keep away from prosecutions.
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