Guatemala’s ex-prez took bribes from Taiwan

Former Guatemalan president Alfonso Portillo pleaded guilty before the US District Court for the Southern District of New York March 18 to taking $2.5 million in bribes from Taiwan in exchange for continued diplomatic recognition of the nation. Portillo read a statement before the court admitting to taking the bribes as part of a plea bargain with federal prosecutors. As part of the plea deal Portillo will face 46 to 71 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines with sentencing scheduled for June 23. Portillo was extradited to the US after the Guatemala Constitutional Court last May ruled in favor of his extradition. The $2.5 million Portillo received from Taiwan is only a small fraction of the tens of millions of dollars US prosecutors have alleged Portillo embezzled from the Guatemalan government and laundered through US banks.

From Jurist, March 20. Used with permisison.

  1. Guatemala ex-president released from US prison

    Former Guatemalan president Alfonso Portillo was released from a US prison on Feb. 25 after serving a sentence for taking bribes from Taiwan. A federal judge sentenced Portillo in New York, and he served his time at a minimum-security prison in Denver. Portillo was sentenced to five years and 10 months last May, but because he had already spent more than four years in jail since his arrest in 2010, his jail time was shortened. (Jurist)