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Originally published Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 8:53 PM

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Guatemala court upholds decision absolving ex-prez

An appeals court has upheld a decision that absolved former President Alfonso Portillo of charges that he stole $15 million from Guatemala's Defense Department, bringing an end to the case.

The Associated Press

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GUATEMALA CITY —

An appeals court has upheld a decision that absolved former President Alfonso Portillo of charges that he stole $15 million from Guatemala's Defense Department, bringing an end to the case.

The appeals court announced its decision late Tuesday.

In 2011, a Guatemalan court ruled that prosecutors failed to prove through documents or witnesses that Portillo was personally involved in embezzling the Defense Department's funds while he governed the country from 2000 to 2004.

Portillo still faces extradition to the United States, where he faces charges of money laundering related to the alleged embezzlement of $1.5 million in foreign donations donated by Taiwan to buy schoolbooks for Guatemalan children.

He allegedly deposited the money in Miami and transferred it to a Paris account in the name of his ex-wife and daughter.

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