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Wednesday, April 24 2019 @ 07:46 PM UTC

Judge orders ex-president extradited TO PANAMA for trial

Law & Lawyers A Panamanian judge has ordered former Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Alemán to be arrested on money-laundering charges and extradited to Panama to stand trial, court officials said Thursday. The two Central American countries do not have an extradition treaty, and it remained unclear whether Nicaraguan officials would follow the order. Alemán, who was president from 1997 to 2002, is accused of opening 60 bank accounts in Panama to launder $57 million stolen from Nicaragua's government coffers. Judge Adolfo Mejía also ordered the arrest of Alemán's wife, María Fernanda; his father-in-law, José Antonio Flores; and his former tax chief, Byron Jerez. They are accused of signing off on some of the accounts. In 2003, a Nicaraguan court sentenced Alemán to 20 years' imprisonment for fraud and money laundering. His sentence was reduced to house arrest, and appeals courts dominated by his Constitutionalist Liberal Party eventually freed him conditionally. Alemán also faces a civil trial in Miami over allegations he purchased U.S. bank certificates with money stolen from Nicaragua's government.
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