SAN SALVADOR – Former President Tony Saca, who governed El Salvador from 2004 to 2009, was arrested Sunday on corruption charges, an Attorney General’s Office spokesman told EFE.
“For the time being, no further details can be provided,” the AG’s office spokesman said.
Supreme Court ethics commission chairman Justice Sidney Blanco said earlier this month that more than $15 million was “moved” under Saca’s name to an account belonging to his former private secretary, Elmer Charlaix, who was indicted in mid-October.
Former Youth Affairs Secretary Cesar Funes and Communications Secretary Julio Rank, both members of the Saca administration, were arrested early Sunday on corruption charges.
The Saca administration “supposedly used security plans as a front to misappropriate $20 million,” issuing checks to third parties, including the former president, Blanco said.
Justice Rodolfo Gonzalez, for his part, said Saca alone received $15 million from a budget line used to fund the intelligence service.
In mid-October, the Supreme Court ordered Charlaix to stand tril on charges that he took more than $18.7 million in public funds.
Investigators found that a check for $400,000 was also issued to the National Republican Alliance, or ARENA, the political party to which Saca belongs.
The 51-year-old Saca, the fourth ARENA president between 1989 and 2009, also faces charges in civil court in a case involving the origins of more than $4 million in personal assets.