Weekend News / World

American court sentences former Guatemalan President

By Marion V. Ali, Staff Reporter

Former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo is serving to five years and 10 months in an American jail for taking bribes from Taiwan.

The court in New York also fined Portillo, who was extradited to the U.S. last year, to pay a fine of $2.5 M.

Portillo pleaded guilty two months ago to attempting to launder the illegal money through American banks. Portillo had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder money and agreed not to appeal against any prison sentence between four and six years. He admitted to accepting $2.5m in bribes and promised to return the money. Portillo said he took the money in exchange for a promise that his country would continue to recognise Taiwan diplomatically while he was in office, between 2000 and 2004.

Portillo, who has already spent time in jail, has only 18 months of his sentence remaining.

(Pic: Reuters/BBC World)

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