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El Salvador seeks ex-president’s arrest

May 1, 2014

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — El Salvador’s top prosecutors are seeking the arrest of former President Francisco Flores, who is accused of embezzlement, illegal enrichment and disobedience.

Attorney General Luis Martinez said prosecutors have evidence Flores embezzled around $5.3 million.

Documents seeking Flores’ arrest were filed Wednesday with a court in the capital, San Salvador.

Flores also allegedly mismanaged another $10 million that was donated 10 years ago by Taiwan’s government during his presidency from 1999 to 2004, according to fiscal crimes prosecutor Tobias Menjivar.

Flores is also accused of disobedience for failing to show up for a meeting with a congressional commission investigating what happened with the money Taiwan donated, Menjivar added.

Menjivar said Judge Marata Rosales has up to five workdays to set an initial court date for Flores and that it would be up to her to request Interpol’s help in arresting the former president, whose whereabouts are unknown.

Flores has said he received the money personally from Taiwan and handed it over to the intended state projects. He has offered no proof of the handover.

Salvadoran officials have said the investigation began after prosecutors received information last year about suspicious operations detected by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Flores is a member of the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance, which held the Salvadoran presidency for 20 years until President Mauricio Funes was elected in 2009 from the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front.

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