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Guatemalan Corruption Suspect Says Perez Molina Led the Ring


Guatemala City, October 6 (teleSUR-RHC)-- A former Guatemalan top official accused former President Otto Perez Molina and former Vice President Roxana Baldetti of being the leaders of the corruption scheme dubbed “La Linea,” in which importers paid millions of dollars in bribes to avoid huge customs tax payments.

Baldetti’s former secretary, Juan Carlos Monzon, who turned himself in to authorities on Sunday night, is accused of being the head of the corruption scandal that rocked and shocked the Central American nation.

During his initial court appearance, Monzon denied being the leader of La Linea, claiming he was just following orders from his former boss, Baldetti, who, along with Perez Molina, remains in jail while awaiting prosecution on charges of fraud, racketeering and bribery.
     
Monzon said any member of the governing Patriotic Party (PP) "could confirm that you couldn't do anything without the knowledge and approval of either of the two, the president or his deputy.”

The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, known as CICIG, which is a U.N.-led commission tasked with fighting high-level graft in the country, helped authorities to gather criminal evidence for the case which they say is based on around 89,000 wiretapped phone calls.

Meanwhile, officials said they collected US$3.8 million in bribes between May 2014 and April 2015, including US$800,000 each to Perez and Baldetti, who both deny any involvement in the scandal.

Former President Perez Molina stepped down earlier last month after a judge issued an arrest warrant for him. Hours later, Vice President Alejandro Maldonado, was sworn in as the country's interim president.
Edited by Ivan Martínez
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