The US embassy in Guatemala on Aug. 30 praised the decision of the Guatemalan Constitutional Court allowing former president Alfonso Portillo to be extradited to the US on charges of embezzling foreign donations. Upon extradition Portillo will stand trial in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on charges of laundering US$1.5 million in Taiwanese foreign donations, which were supposed to be used to buy schoolbooks for Guatemalan children. Instead Portillo allegedly deposited the funds in various banks for his personal use. Portillo was president from 2000 to 2004 and was tried last year in Guatemala on charges of embezzlement under which he allegedly diverted approximately USD $15 million in funds from the Ministry of Defense. His extradition to the US was approved by a Guatemalan criminal court in March 2010.
From Jurist, Sept. 2. Used with permission.