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Trial of renowned journalist suspended again in Guatemala

Guatemala, Feb 21 (Prensa Latina) Judge Jimi Bremer today suspended for the second time the opening hearing of the new trial of the founder and former president of elPeriódico, José Rubén Zamora, who has been in prison since July 2022.

Upon his arrival this morning at the capital’s Torre de Tribunales, in the Tenth Pluripersonal First Instance Criminal Court, the renowned reporter declared that he has a lot of faith, confidence and that the accusations of the Public Ministry (MP) are baseless.

He assured that he has categorical evidence to show it, “I requested in writing a larger room so that the press, the public can enter, and see the documentation that I have,” Zamora stressed, who will have to wait until next March 20, new date set.

However, the 67-year-old communicator told local media that in Guatemala any scenario is possible and he is ready for whatever it takes, to be free or to continue in prison, he said.

In the framework of the “Blackmail, impunity and money laundering” investigation, the MP accused him of money laundering through Ronald García Navarijo, former director of the Workers’ Bank (Bantrab), who was one of the journalistic sources he had.

He would give him a check, which he would deposit in a unit of the system, the amount of which would have illicit origin, according to the Special Prosecutor’s Office against Impunity (FECI), a department of the investigative entity.

The MP requested a 40-year prison sentence for the defendant for money laundering, blackmail and influence peddling.

The eighth lawyer in Zamora’s defense, Joel Iván Reyes, said that this instance could not “break the principle of innocence” of the defendant, “since the evidence presented is not legal.”