Honduran Judge Calls on Military Brass to Testify

January 15, 2010

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – As part of a government investigation into the military’s actions during the June 28, 2009 ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, the President of Honduras’ Supreme Court, Jorge Rivera, has ordered six members of Honduras’s high Military Command to testify before the court this week.

All six officers have been charged with abuse of power, though some pundits expect they could be pardoned or given immunity as part of a forthcoming reconciliation accord. In the meantime, the military officers were cited to appear before the judge Thursday.

The judge refrained from issuing capture orders for the six officers, as the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) had requested. The defendants’ lawyer said the officers, responsible for issuing the order to whisk Zelaya out of the country and drop him in Costa Rica seven months ago, would report to the court “voluntarily.”

Though the Supreme Court had ordered an arrest warrant for Zelaya last June for allegedly violating the country’s constitution, the military command reportedly took it upon themselves to exile him from the country rather than bring him before a court. Chief officer Gen. Romeo Vásquez said afterwards that the decision was made to avoid potential bloodshed.

Zelaya, who has been holed up in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa since sneaking back into the country Sept. 21, said he thinks the state investigation of the Honduran military officers is an attempt to cover up the truth about the June 28 coup and give “impunity” to the military high command.

–Nica Times & EFE

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