Friday, February 26, 2021

Honduran president goal of US investigation, court docket filings present

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Reuters information company says court docket submitting doesn’t say what the Honduran president, a key US ally, is being investigated for.

United States prosecutors are investigating Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, in accordance with a brand new court docket submitting seen by the Reuters information company, piling stress on a frontrunner who prosecutors have already accused in court docket of participation within the nation’s bloody narcotics commerce.

In a court docket doc filed Friday evening within the Southern District of New York within the case of Geovanny Fuentes Ramirez, an alleged Honduran drug trafficker, US federal prosecutors stated Hernandez himself was the goal of an investigation, together with different “high-ranking officials”.

The submitting didn’t say what Hernandez, who has been president since 2014, is being investigated for.

Last month, US prosecutors stated in a court docket submitting associated to the identical case that Hernandez had by 2013 “accepted millions of dollars in drug-trafficking proceeds and, in exchange, promised drug traffickers protection from prosecutors, law enforcement, and [later] extradition to the United States”.

The Honduran authorities didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Hernandez has repeatedly denied any ties to drug cartels.

The Honduran president has been a key US ally in Central America and the investigation may complicate the Biden administration’s efforts to speculate $4bn within the area, together with in Honduras, to handle the basis causes of migration.

The prosecutors additionally stated that help from the Honduran authorities in ongoing investigations “has hardly been forthcoming”, accusing the Honduran authorities of offering “limited records” and never honouring extradition requests for potential witnesses towards the president.

AP 20008569394400Juan Antonio ‘Tony’ Hernandez, brother of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, arriving for a information convention in Tegucigalpa, Honduras [File: Fernando Antonio/AP Photo]

Hernandez’s title has often appeared in US court docket filings towards Fuentes Ramirez, in addition to in a profitable drug-trafficking case towards the president’s brother, Tony Hernandez.

Previous court docket filings additionally present that, round 2013, the US Drug Enforcement Administration started investigating Hernandez and others for drug trafficking and cash laundering.

Friday’s submitting gave the impression to be the primary affirmation from US prosecutors that the Honduran president was presently below investigation by the US.

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