Latin America & Caribbean

Guatemalan president's brother and son accused of fraud

Samuel Morales and Jose Manuel Morales Marroquin, brother and son of Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, appear before a court at the Tribunal Building, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, 18 January 2017 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Samuel Morales (left) and Jose Manuel Morales Marroquin (right), brother and son of Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, appeared in court on Wednesday

The brother and son of Guatemala's "anti-corruption" president are to face trial for fraud.

Attorney General Thelma Aldana has asked for Samuel "Sammy" Morales and Jose Manuel Morales to be detained ahead of a trial.

It is a blow for President Jimmy Morales, who pledged to clean up politics during his 2015 campaign.

The former comedian said his support for his family was "100%", but so was his respect for the law.

His official Twitter profile said: "The rule of law must prevail above all things."

Samuel, the president's older brother, and Jose Manuel, his son, are accused of fraud. The exact amount involved is unclear, but figures range from $12,000 (£9,700; €11,200) to $26,000.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption President Morales ran for office on an anti-corruption ticket

Ms Aldana said so far it had been determined that neither Sammy nor Jose Manuel had made any money from the transactions.

Another eight people have been detained in connection with the allegations.

Sammy said he was not concerned by the proceedings as he had not "committed any crime", while Jose Manuel voluntarily handed himself over to the authorities.

His father, President Morales, was elected on a wave of public anger over a corruption scandal that led to the arrest and trial of his predecessor, retired General Otto Perez.

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