San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
El Salvador

Arrest warrant issued for Salvadoran ex-President Flores

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – A Salvadoran judge issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for former President Francisco Flores, who may have fled the country after being accused of misappropriating millions of dollars donated by Taiwan.

“The judge [Marta Rosales] informed us this afternoon that she was issuing the arrest warrant” for Flores, whose whereabouts are unknown, said his attorney Edgar Morales.

The court also ordered Flores’ assets seized, including several homes, cars and boats, Morales said. Flores will learn of the warrant in the media, according to his attorney who said he was hired by Flores’ spouse.

In power from 1999 and 2004, Flores was investigated both by Congress and the Attorney General’s Office in the wake of allegations by President Mauricio Funes that Flores received up to $15 million in donations from Taiwan without accounting for them.

Funes claimed Taipei donated the money to El Salvador in the waning months of Flores’ presidency, between 2003 and 2004.

Flores has said he accepted money but did nothing inappropriate, passing it on through the proper channels.

On Friday, legislative speaker Sigfrido Reyes asked Panama to help locate Flores, after a Panamanian media outlet reported Flores was in that country.

El Salvador’s Attorney General Luis Martínez told broadcaster TCS last month that Flores is wanted for embezzlement, illicit enrichment and disobedience.

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