The United States Procuratorate told a New York courtroom Wednesday that Mexican drug trafficker El Chapo has handed over $ 1 million to the Honduran president's brother – money that the president himself should obtain.
The claim was made in the prosecution's opening statement in the trial of Juan Antonio (Tony) Hernández, the younger brother of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández.
The President, who was not indicted in this case, was an ally of President Trump's security and immigration, but also met with growing mistrust. The US Attorney's office recently claimed in a lawsuit that he was part of the conspiracy against which his brother had been charged.
After reports of the public prosecutor's statement had publicly surfaced on Wednesday evening, President Hernández vigorously denied on Twitter the allegations that linked him to the well-known as El Chapo drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera% false, absurd and ridiculous "and pointed He also noted that the prosecutor never said that he had recei ved the money that is claimed to have been given first to his brother.
] The Manhattan prosecutor's charges against President Hernández are in stark contrast to the praise that other American officials have made to him over the past few months, for example, on September 25, Kevin K. McAleenan, acting secretary of state security, said in a statement Tweet, the Honduran president is a "strong partner" who is in the fight for wrong gular and transnational migration employs criminal organizations.
The case brought by US prosecutors has shaken Honduras deeply.
Thousands of Hondurans leave their land every month – many on their way to the United States – desperate not to build a better life in their own country. The years of federal investigation involving the country's political elite reinforces the belief that the government is corrupt and does not work in its interest.
After the allegations against President Hernández became public in New York in August, the Hondurans repeated the protests and demanded his resignation. Many carried signs with his initials – JOH – and the abbreviation of the prosecutor for the president – CC-4, which means that he is co-conspirator Hernández as the central prosecutor of the trial – the prosecutor said the president helped isolate his brother while he benefited from drug money.
"This protection and control has made him very confident that he can never be held accountable for his crimes. that he was inviolable – and he has been for a very long time, "said Jason A. Richman, deputy attorney for the United States.
Tony Hernández did not plead guilty to allegations against him, including the conspiracy to import cocaine The United States. If convicted, he faces a life imprisonment.
His lawyer, T. Omar Malone, told the jury, "You will never see a picture of this gentleman with any drugs." Mr Malone argued that it was President Hernández's harsh crime policy involving his brother in the Courtroom landed.
In remembrance of a conversation between the President and the defendant, who at the time was considering entering into politics himself, Malone said that President Tony Hernández had advised not to do so in order that the enemies of the President might oppose turn him over.
"They will be the target of their anger," Malone said of the President's conversation. When he looked at the jury, he added, "And that's exactly what happened."
Jeff Lichtman, Mr. Guzman's lawyer, also denied his client's role in the allegations.
In the government's opening statement, prosecutor Mr. Richman did not respond to allegations linking El Chapo to Tony Hernández or his brother. Mr. Richman told the jury that Tony Hernández's cocaine network had thrived in Honduras because of his political power.
"They all protected their organization."
"They were all bought and paid for with the dirtiest drug money," Mr. Richman said. "And most importantly, the defendant was arrested by his brother, the incumbent president of Honduras, protected and had access to him. This man himself has received millions of dollars in bribes for drugs. "
Mr. The trial of Hernández, scheduled to continue on Thursday, is scheduled to take 10 to 12 court days, prosecutors judge P. Kevin Castel said.