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Montevideo, July 17th 2024 - 13:45 UTC



Charges filed against former Paraguayan President for misuse of confidential data

Tuesday, March 12th 2024 - 10:34 UTC
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Abdo is said to have tried to “weaken” Cartes and Peña within the ANR Abdo is said to have tried to “weaken” Cartes and Peña within the ANR

Paraguayan prosecutors agreed Monday to press charges against former President Mario Abdo Benítez following complaints filed by fellow former head of state Horacio Cartes, it was reported in Asunción. Although both leaders belong to the Colorado Party -also known as the National Republican Alliance or ANR- Cartes currently chairs the grouping.

Abdo Benítez and eight other officials of his government are said to have leaked intelligence reports from the Secretariat for the Prevention of Money Laundering or Assets Laundering (Seprelad) to damage Cartes and his dolphin, current President Santiago Peña.

Some of the charges against Abdo and his former ministers or secretaries Carlos Arregui, Arnaldo Giuzzio, René Fernández, Carmen Pereira, Daniel Farías, Guillermo Preda, Francisco Pereira, and Mauricio Espínola include the “disclosure of secrets in public service, simulation of punishable acts, inducing officials to commit crimes, false denunciation, and criminal association”.

Between 2021 and 2022, Abdo Benítez allegedly formed a criminal organization “to leak financial, tax, and other information, linked to the economic order” capitalizing on Seprelad's confidential data. Arregui and Carmen Pereira held positions at Seprelad; Guzzio was Interior Minister, and René Fernández was a minister at the National Anticorruption Secretariat. Espínola served as Abdo's deputy private secretary while Farias was a financial intelligence advisor to the Minister of the Interior.

With these actions ahead of the ANR elections, Abdo is believed to have intended to tip the balance his way by leaking confidential financial information concerning Cartes and Peña through the media.

The prosecution's case details which specific part of the plan each defendant allegedly carried out.

Cartes filed complaints with the Public Prosecutor's Office on July 31, Aug. 30, and Oct. 30, 2023, which led Prosecutors Aldo Cantero and Giovanni Grisetti to start Monday's actions against Abdo for trying to “weaken” Cartes and Peña.

The Prosecutors' case is based on 42 elements of suspicion, including some reports from institutions linked to the investigation, media publications, and Cartes' complaints.

Categories: Politics, Paraguay.

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