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Judge asks for protection and not to be investigated in Guatemala

Judge asks for protection and not to be investigated in Guatemala

Guatemalan Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez, who denounced revenge against him for rulings against corruption and crimes against humanity, asked the Constitutional Court on Tuesday to protect him and thus stop the process of withdrawing immunity initiated by the Supreme Court of Justice for considering that it is “spurious”.

The judge assured that the Supreme Court appointed a judge to investigate him for a complaint in which, according to him, no evidence was provided and that includes three cases – out of five – that he did not hear.

Judge Herbert Pérez’s lawyer said that the appeal for amparo was filed because “it is evident that the complaint and the preliminary hearing request are motivated by spurious reasons, as the facts deviate from the truth and at the same time are illegitimate, because they are promoted by a Foundation that is not even a party to any process indicated in his complaint.”

The judge was denounced by Ricardo Rafael Méndez Ruiz, president of the Fundación Contra el Terrorismo (FCT), a far-right activist sanctioned in 2021 by the US State Department for obstructing criminal proceedings against former soldiers who committed acts of violence, harassment and intimidation against investigators of corruption cases.

Méndez accuses the judge of delay in applying pre-trial detention to those accused of crimes and used the Co-optation of the State case to point out that two defendants would have exceeded their prison terms. The activist is not part of that process and also accompanied as evidence to the complaint a report from an organization that evaluated the management of several courts, including that of Gálvez.

In the Cooptation of the State case, former President Otto Pérez Molina and several former officials of his government cabinet are accused of allegedly integrating a structure that had co-opted government institutions with which public works were allegedly awarded and bribes were obtained that they later laundered to finance your political party.

The lawyer said that the decision of the Supreme Court to process the complaint violates basic rights of the judge, such as legal certainty, due process, the principle of legality and the pre-eminence of international law, “but mainly the guarantee of judicial independence.” He added that they have requested that the process be stopped.

Judge Gálvez placed former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt on the bench, who was put on trial for genocide for the death of 1,771 Ixil indigenous people during the internal armed conflict in the country, between 1960 and 1996, and was later sentenced to 80 years in prison. Subsequently, the Constitutional Court reversed the sentence and ordered a new trial. The former dictator died in 2018 without being tried.

The judge has sent to trial officials convicted of corruption, military, police and individuals accused of crimes against humanity and other serious crimes such as murder, rape and drug trafficking.

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Written by Editor TLN

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