SAN SALVADOR – Former President Francisco Flores has been formally charged with embezzlement and other corruption-related offenses, El Salvador’s attorney general said on Wednesday.
The accusation includes a request that the court order the arrest of Flores, who governed El Salvador from 1999-2004 and whose whereabouts have been unknown since January, Luis Martinez said in an interview with Telecorporacion Salvadoreña.
He said that the former head of state is accused of “embezzlement, illicit enrichment and disobedience” in the handling of millions of dollars donated to El Salvador by the government of Taiwan.
Flores is suspected of having embezzled around $5.3 million of those funds, the attorney general said.
The former president acknowledged in January before a legislative committee that during his mandate he received millions of dollars from Taiwan in checks made out to him, outside the public accounts, although he added that the funds were for government projects and activities.
After making two appearances before the committee, Flores failed to show up for a third session on Jan. 30, and so lawmakers asked the police at that time to force him to appear but he has not yet been located, authorities said.