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Juan Orlando Hernandez: Ex-Honduras president who ‘protected El Chapo’ and helped traffickers transport tonnes of cocaine jailed in New York | World Information

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Former Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernandez has been sentenced to 45 years in a US jail over expenses he enabled drug traffickers to make use of his army and nationwide police drive to assist get tonnes of cocaine over the border.

Hernandez was additionally fined $8m (£6.3m) by a federal court docket in Manhattan, New York, following a trial which noticed him accused by traffickers of defending a number of the world’s strongest cocaine sellers.

The traffickers, who admitted accountability for dozens of murders, mentioned he protected the likes of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who’s serving a life jail time period within the US.

A jury convicted Hernandez, 55, in March after a two-week trial, which was carefully adopted in his residence nation.

“I’m harmless,” he mentioned at his sentencing. “I used to be wrongly and unjustly accused.”

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The sentencing decide P Kevin Castel known as Hernandez a “two-faced politician hungry for energy”, who protected a choose group of traffickers.

US prosecutors say Hernandez labored with drug traffickers as way back as 2004, taking tens of millions of {dollars} in bribes as he rose from rural congressman to president of the Nationwide Congress after which to the nation’s highest workplace.

His brother, Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernandez, a former Honduran congressman, was sentenced to life in a US jail in 2021 for his personal conviction on drug expenses.

Picture:
Hernandez mentioned he was being persecuted by politicians and drug traffickers. Pic: Reuters

Juan Orlando Hernandez served two phrases because the chief of the central American nation of roughly 10 million individuals.

He was arrested at his residence in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, three months after leaving workplace in 2022 and was extradited to the US in April that yr.

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Hernandez acknowledged in trial testimony that drug cash was paid to nearly all political events in Honduras, however he
denied accepting bribes himself.

He insisted in a prolonged assertion made by way of an interpreter that his trial was unjust as a result of he was not allowed to incorporate proof that might have brought about the jury to seek out him not responsible.

He mentioned he was being persecuted by politicians and drug traffickers.

“It is as if I had been thrown right into a deep river with my fingers certain,” he mentioned.



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