San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Ex-President Returned To House Arrest

MANAGUA (EFE) – FormerPresident Arnoldo Alemán (1997-2002),serving a 20-year prison sentence for corruption,was returned to house arrestFriday night after spending four months ina capital hospital recovering from a minorfinger surgery.The move came as the ManaguaAppellate Court dismissed additionalcharges against Alemán alleging heembezzled $1.3 million from former state-runTV Channel 6.The three-judge panel unanimouslyruled to dismiss an arrest warrant issuedby Judge Ileana Pérez against Alemán oncharges of fraud and criminal conspiracyin the Channel 6 case, and the case wasclosed.Alemán, the party boss of the LiberalConstitutional Party, is expected to serveout his 20-year sentence in his privatehacienda known as “El Chile.”The decision to allow him to return tohouse arrest is allegedly part of a newpact he has formed with Sandinista partyboss Daniel Ortega, in exchange forAlemán’s support for a Constitutionalreform package being pushed through theNational Assembly by the Sandinistas.

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