December 5, 2022

Former First Lady of Honduras Rosa Elena Bonilla Convicted of Corruption

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(CNN Spanish) –– The Honduran Justice sentenced former first lady Rosa Elena Bonilla to 14 years, one month and five days in prison for the crimes of “continued fraud and misappropriation.” The decision comes just over three months after a retrial was held on March 17, when she, too, was found guilty.

In addition, his former private secretary Saúl Escobar received a sentence of 7 years, 20 months and 15 days in prison for “continued fraud.”

According to the Tegucigalpa Sentencing Court, the former officials launched an initiative aimed at providing shoes for school children and, between 2010 and 2014, “false contracts were made with the aim of diverting funds intended for this project.”

According to the court, in the plot “contracts were signed with eight supposed shoe suppliers” to whom checks for the equivalent of more than US$245,000 were delivered in exchange for material that was never presented or delivered to the beneficiaries.

The document also indicates that the former first lady, wife of former President Porfirio Lobo, must pay a fine “for twice the amount defrauded, that is, 13,812,848 lempiras (approximately $559,500)” and is disqualified for twice the prison sentence time.

Bonilla’s lawyer, Juan Carlos Berganza, told local media that they will “carefully” analyze the sentence and file an appeal. According to the Judiciary, this appeal can be filed within 20 working days after the parties have been notified.



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