Guatemalan former vice president sentenced to prison

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A Guatemalan court sentenced former vice president Roxana Baldetti to 15 years and six months in prison Tuesday after finding her guilty of fraud in the awarding of a multi-million dollar government contract to decontaminate a lake near the capital.
Baldetti led a “criminal network” that sought to defraud the state, Judge Pablo Xitumul ruled in finding her guilty of conspiracy, influence peddling and fraud at the end of a four month trial.
Among the nine convicted with Baldetti was her brother Mario, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison for his involvement in steering the contract to a company owned by an Argentine-Israeli businessman, Hugo Roitman, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
The project came to light in 2016 after environmentalists charged that the chemical formula sold was a mixture of salt and water.
Baldetti, who faces charges in three other corruption cases, resigned as vice president in May 2015 after being accused in a separate fraudulent scheme involving Guatemalan customs.

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