Latin America & Caribbean

Guatemalan ex-leader Perez Molina faces new graft probe

In this July 22, 2016 photo, Guatemala's jailed, former President Otto Perez Molina attends a pre-trial hearing in Guatemala City. Image copyright AP
Image caption Otto Perez Molina took office in 2012 and resigned in September 2015 amid corruption allegations

A judge in Guatemala has ordered that former President Otto Perez Molina be investigated in connection with a multi-million dollar corruption case.

Mr Perez Molina resigned on 2 September over allegations of graft. He was arrested a day later.

He is already under investigation over a bribery scheme at Guatemala's customs services but has denied any wrongdoing.

The latest investigation focuses on allegations he received $37.9m (£28.8m) in return for construction contracts.

Investigators allege that the former president was also given a helicopter, a plane and a luxury car.

He has previously been accused by an anti-corruption commission of taking bribes from a Spanish port company.

Guatemala ministers arrested over helicopter 'gift'

Guatemala ex-president 'took bribes'

Judge Miguel Angel Galvez said that the latest alleged kickback scheme to come under investigation involved more than 50 public officials, bankers and businesspeople.

Image copyright AP
Image caption News of the alleged corruption triggered mass anti-graft protests

Mr Perez Molina's former Vice President, Roxana Baldetti, is among those who are also under investigation.

Ms Baldetti was forced to resign in May 2015 when allegations of corruption against her first emerged.

The news prompted mass anti-corruption protests which eventually led to the resignation of Mr Perez Molina.

Both he and Ms Baldetti are already in custody.

Investigators will now have three months to gather evidence against the suspects before a judge decides whether to take the case to trial.

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