Court in El Salvador sentences former first lady to 10 years

International

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — A court in El Salvador sentenced the wife of former President Tony Saca to 10 years in prison for money laundering Friday and ordered her to repay $17.6 million to the government.

Ex-first lady Ana Ligia de Saca got the same sentence as her brother, Oscar Edgardo Sol Mixco.

Earlier this year, Ligia de Saca was found guilty of illicit enrichment and ordered them to repay the government $4.4 million.

Tony Saca is already serving a 10-year prison sentence for corruption and has been ordered to return some $260 million to the state. Courts ruled that Saca could not explain the origin of $6.5 million in income he made while president. Saca will also be barred from holding public office for 10 years.

Saca was convicted in September 2018 after pleading guilty in connection with the diversion of more than $300 million from government coffers to benefit his businesses and third parties, becoming the first Salvadoran ex-president found guilty of corruption.

Saca, 54, was president from 2004 to 2009 and was arrested in October 2016.

Two other presidents have also been accused of corruption. Francisco Flores, who was president in 1999-2004, died in 2016 while awaiting trial under house arrest. Mauricio Funes, who held the top office in 2009-2014, fled to Nicaragua where he was granted asylum, allowing him to avoid facing trial back home.

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