Chamber rectifies the alleged implication in the case of José Luis Benito due to the discovery of Q122 million – 2024-05-11 09:02:29

In a resolution dated April 22, the First High Risk Chamber rectified the sentence against the former Minister of Communications José Luis Benito for the case of the discovery of Q122 million in suitcases in a residence in Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepéquez.

The former official’s defense presented defective procedural activity against the sentence handed down on April 11.

On that occasion, on April 22, the resolution of the Chamber modified the sentence against Benito to 6 years in prison with a 50 percent reduction in the sentence for having accepted the acceptance of charges, remaining in three years with payment of the prison sentence already suffered and commutable for the rest of the temporality.

In addition, the Court modified the crime from “Conspiracy to Launder money and other assets” to “Money Laundering and other assets.”

However, in the rectification of April 22, the Chamber indicated that it was established within the procedural records analyzed that there was criminal co-participation on the part of José Ernesto Batres González in the Q122 million seized.

On that occasion he certified what was appropriate and indicated that the residence where the cash was found supposedly belonged to Batres, for which the MP was ordered to initiate the corresponding legal actions.

New resolution

On April 24, 2024, the aforementioned Chamber issued a new resolution in relation to the process followed against the former Minister of Communications.

The Chamber affirmed that an erroneous interpretation and application of the law was committed in relation to the participation of other possible perpetrators in the criminal act investigated, in this case the alleged participation of José Ernesto Batres González.

To read more: Chimaltenango Bypass Case: Court revokes benefit for former Minister José Luis Benito and he must remain in prison

According to the resolution, after an exhaustive analysis of the actions, No elements were found that could confirm the possible participation of Batres González in the authorship or co-authorship of the crime investigated by the MP.

The Chamber has proceeded to rectify the act and recognized the absence of sufficient elements to investigate the aforementioned person and exempts him from any criminal responsibility for having been the subject of accusations without solid foundations.

These rectifications by the Chamber in Benito’s case occur after the resolution of April 16, when a Chamber increased the sentence against the former official for the located money case.

In principle, the High Risk Court D handed down a six-year sentence against Benito for the crime of conspiracy to commit the crime of laundering money or other assets, but since the former official adhered to the procedure for accepting charges, the sentence was reduced to two years, so the MP appealed the ruling.

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According to the Prosecutor’s Office, by accepting the procedure for accepting charges, the court reduced the sentence to 2 years of commutable prison and imposed a fine of Q1 million 600 thousand; Furthermore, he explained that, at the request of the Attorney General’s Office, he was ordered to pay decent reparation consisting of Q220 thousand.

However, on the aforementioned date, the MP reported that “after the appeal presented by the Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Impunity before the High Risk Court group “D”, for the resolution in which the sentence was handed down on February 9 of 2024, the First Chamber of the Court of Appeals of the Criminal Branch of High-Risk Processes and Asset Forfeiture resolved to modify it and resolved as follows.”

Eight years in prison

“That José Luis Benito Ruiz is responsible for the degree of consummation of the crime of laundering money or other assets, committed to the detriment of the Public Administration of the State of Guatemala, and as a consequence of said criminal offense he is sentenced to six months. years of prison, which must be increased by a third, by virtue of having held the position of public official, that is, eight years of incommutable prison, with payment of the prison suffered”, says the resolution.

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