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Page last updated at 21:18 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 22:18 UK

Ex-leader extradited to Guatemala

Alfonso Portillo arrives at court
Alfonso Portillo has arrived back in Guatemala City

Mexico has extradited the former Guatemalan president, Alfonso Portillo, to face corruption charges.

Mr Portillo is wanted over the disappearance of $15m (8.5m) earmarked for the Guatemalan defence department.

Mr Portillo, who served as president from 2000 to 2004 before going to Mexico, denies any wrongdoing.

After arriving back in the country on Tuesday, Mr Portillo appeared before a judge and said there was no evidence to support the allegations.

A Mexican government statement said: "The transfer of Alfonso Antonio Portillo Cabrera to the Republic of Guatemala was concluded today (Tuesday), according to the terms of the extradition treaty."

In court in Guatemala City, Mr Portillo said: "In order to prove fraud, one must show that the accused had control over the money and we have account receipts from the controller general showing the president was not in charge of any funds."

The judge will rule on whether to remand Mr Portillo or bail him.

Mr Portillo took refuge in Mexico at the end of his four-year presidential term after he lost legal immunity from prosecution.

Mexico ordered that he be extradited in 2006, but Mr Portillo appealed to the country's Supreme Court that it was unconstitutional. The court ruled against him in January.

Guatemalan radio reported that Mr Portillo had given himself up to Mexican authorities.


SEE ALSO
Mexico court clears Portillo move
31 Jan 08 |  Americas
Mexico agrees Portillo's return
31 Oct 06 |  Americas
Guatemala seeks former president
01 Nov 05 |  Americas
Guatemala seeks ex-leader arrest
19 Jul 05 |  Americas
Guatemala politicians were racist
05 Apr 05 |  Americas
Country profile: Guatemala
22 Apr 08 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Guatemala
22 Apr 08 |  Country profiles

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