Guatemala's Supreme Court Strips Anti-Corruption Judge of Immunity

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Guatemala’s highest courtroom introduced on Wednesday it had revoked immunity from prosecution for Choose Pablo Xitumul, a distinguished anti-graft crusader, within the newest setback within the battle in opposition to corruption within the Central American nation.

Xitumul is a choose within the nation’s high-risk courts, which had been created after the U.N.-backed anti-corruption fee CICIG pushed reforms to research organized crime and corruption.

He has confronted a slew of authorized challenges that he regards as revenge for a few of his high-level rulings, which have concerned a former chief and prime officers.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court docket determined by a majority to revoke his immunity, clearing the way in which for him to be investigated over a traffic-related incident from 2019.

The Supreme Court docket’s transfer comes after different distinguished anti-corruption judges and officers have been faraway from their posts, jailed, or pushed into exile.

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Xitumul was amongst a handful of judges on Guatemala’s high-risk courts who submitted a proper grievance to the general public prosecutor’s workplace final yr saying they had been being persecuted and harassed by unidentified armed people.

In 2013, he handed down an 80-year sentence for genocide to the deceased former dictator, Efraín Ríos Montt. The sentence was later overturned.

5 years later, Xitumul additionally sentenced former Vice President Roxana Baldetti to fifteen years in jail for corruption.

Final yr, he drew reward from the US ambassador to Guatemala, William Popp, who congratulated him for “being a basic pillar for a democratic state.”

(Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Enhancing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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