NEW YORK (AP) — A Honduran accountant testified Tuesday that he fled Honduras because he felt his lifestyles was in hazard after witnessing two meetings in which an alleged drug trafficker paid bribes to now- President Juan Orlando Hernández in 2013.
In both meetings, the subject was “protection and receiving treatment,” acknowledged José Sánchez, a pseudonym susceptible for his protection. At one Hernández was given $10,000 and at another the quantity was $15,000, the accountant acknowledged.
The accountant acknowledged he was petrified to enter the insist of job where he saw Hernández meeting with a drug trafficker. “I was seeing the candidate for the presidency meeting with a drug trafficker,” he acknowledged.
That alleged drug trafficker was Geovanny Fuentes Ramírez, whose Unusual York trial is in its 2nd week. Hernández’s title has attain up often in the trial as U.S. prosecutors proceed to argue that his political rise was fueled by drug traffickers.
The accountant testified that to boot to the two payments he witnesses, Hernández arrived varied times to the firm in a helicopter to glean month-to-month payments of 250,000 lempiras, about $10,000. The payments were for his marketing campaign, the accountant acknowledged.
In the first meeting the accountant allegedly witnessed, Hernández got $15,000. It came about at a spherical desk in the insist of job of Fuad Jarufe, owner of Graneros Nacionales in Choloma north of San Pedro Sula.
The accountant counted the money whereas Hernández looked at his cellphone. Hernández most fashionable money, the accountant acknowledged.
“We are able to be untouchable,” Hernández acknowledged, by the accountant’s re-telling. Hernández allegedly additionally acknowledged “He was going to shove the treatment up the gringos’ accept noses and they weren’t even going to take care of it.”
Hernández received his first duration of time as president in 2013 and took insist of job in January 2014. Prior to that he had been the president of Honduras’ congress.
Hernández has no longer been charged and has often denied any wrongdoing.
Fuentes Ramírez was arrested in March 2020 in Florida. He is charged with drug trafficking and arms possession.
In the route of the accountant’s testimony, the phone line that enables those exterior the court for causes of the pandemic to hear in on the complaints was minimize at prosecutors’ query of. They feared somebody may presumably perchance even scrutinize his bellow.
The man had been the accountant for rice firm Graneros Nacionales.
On Monday, convicted drug trafficker Devis Leonel Rivera Maradiaga, ancient leader of the Cachiros cartel, testified that Fuentes Ramírez had informed him in jail that he had images and movies of Hernández being yell when treatment were got from Colombia to airports in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula.
Supreme week, Rivera Maradiaga testified that he paid Hernández $250,000 for defense from arrest in 2012 when the baby-kisser was the leader of Honduras’ congress.