Prosecutors in El Salvador file charges against ex-president

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Prosecutors in El Salvador presented charges of bribery, money laundering and criminal conspiracy Friday against former President Mauricio Funes, who has fled to Nicaragua.

The charges allege that Funes, his companion, Ada Mitchell Guzmán, and several others defrauded the government of almost $50 million. Funes, who was president in 2009-2014, allegedly paid the Italian construction company ASTALDI too much money after it stopped contracted work on the El Chaparral dam.

Funes denies the allegations. He wrote in his Twitter account that as president, he had not decided on the contract or the payments.

In 2019, Nicaragua granted citizenship to Funes, who had been in that country under political asylum since 2016 and was already wanted back home on allegations of illicit enrichment and embezzlement.

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Funes previously faced four arrest warrants for alleged corruption and the purported diversion of a total of $351 million in state money.

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