San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
El Salvador

Court revokes house arrest for former president of El Salvador, orders him to prison pending trial

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – A high court in San Salvador on Thursday revoked a house arrest ordered for former President Francisco Flores, and ruled that he should be sent to prison while awaiting trial on corruption charges. Flores is accused of misappropriating $15 million in donated funds from the government of Taiwan.

The court annulled lower criminal court judge Levis Orellana’s decision on Sept. 5 to grant Flores house arrest, a ruling that was immediately appealed by prosecutors and a civil society anti-corrpution organization.

In its ruling, the higher court stated that, “the defendant must serve provisional detention in a correctional facility” to be defined by the same tribunal that ordered his house arrest.

An attorney for the former president, Edgar Morales, said he would appeal the high court’s ruling.

On Sept. 5, Flores turned himself in to authorities after becoming an international fugitive for months. He is charged with corruption, illicit enrichment and disobeying a congressional order to appear to answer questions about the disappearance of $15 million donated by Taiwan during his administration from 1999-2004. Both prosecutors and El Salvador’s Congress opened investigations into the allegations after former President Mauricio Funes brought the information to public light in 2013.

Flores had been serving the house arrest order in his upscale residence in the posh neighborhood of San Benito, west of the capital.

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