01192018

Judge orders former Guatemalan president imprisoned while facing fraud and bribery charges

  • APTOPIX Guatemala Political Crisis-1.jpg

    Guatemala’s former president Otto Perez Molina, photographed through a window, sits in court for a third hearing on corruption allegations that led him to resign, in Guatemala City, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. The court is considering allegations that Perez Molina was involved in a scheme in which businesspeople paid bribes to avoid import duties through Guatemala’s customs agency. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix) (The Associated Press)

  • 6435c5ec68a07128810f6a70670014f7.jpg

    Guatemala’s former president Otto Perez Molina attends a third hearing on corruption allegations that led him to resign, in Guatemala City, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. The court is considering allegations that Perez Molina was involved in a scheme in which businesspeople paid bribes to avoid import duties through Guatemala’s customs agency. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo) (The Associated Press)

  • f246c22968a07128810f6a706700a575.jpg

    Guatemala’s former president Otto Perez Molina arrives in court for a third hearing on corruption allegations that led him to resign, in Guatemala City, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. The court is considering allegations that Perez Molina was involved in a scheme in which businesspeople paid bribes to avoid import duties through Guatemala’s customs agency. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo) (The Associated Press)

  • Guatemala Political Crisis-4.jpg

    Guatemala’s former president Otto Perez Molina touches his brow during his third hearing on corruption allegations that led him to resign, in Guatemala City, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. The court is considering allegations that Perez Molina was involved in a scheme in which businesspeople paid bribes to avoid import duties through Guatemala’s customs agency. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo) (The Associated Press)

Former Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina was ordered jailed on Tuesday on charges of fraud, conspiracy and bribery in connection to a customs corruption scandal that took down much of his government and forced him to resign.

Judge Miguel Angel Galvez ordered the former president held during an investigation into whether he should stand trial. Galvez determined that there was enough evidence to link him to the fraud ring, known as “La Linea,” or “The Line,” in which businesspeople paid bribes to avoid import duties through Guatemala’s customs agency.

The scheme, uncovered last year by prosecutors and a U.N. commission known as CICIG, which is investigating criminal networks in the country, is believed to have defrauded the state of millions.

Perez Molina’s former vice president, Roxana Baldetti, has already been jailed and faces charges.

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