Former Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, chief negotiator for the previous government in talks with the United States and Canada that led to the signing of a new trade deal, has been sentenced to stand trial for corruption.
The Federal Attorney General’s Office (FGR) said on Friday that a federal judge had ordered Guajardo, Minister of the Economy for the entire 2012-2018 term of former President Enrique PeÃ±a Nieto, to stand trial in because of his “probable responsibility in the crime of illicit enrichment.” “
The RGF said its anti-corruption unit filed a complaint against Guajardo because he “probably” acquired “an unjustified increase in his wealth” between 2014 and 2018 and could not “prove his legal origin. “.
The case against the former cabinet minister is apparently linked to his purchase of works of art and deposits in bank accounts in Mexico and abroad.
Guajardo has not been remanded in custody, but he will have to report to the authorities on a regular basis. He is prohibited from leaving the country without permission, the FGR said, adding that it had been given four months to complete its investigation.
Guajardo, who was recently elected federal deputy for the Institutional Revolutionary Party and is due to sit in Congress on September 1, called the case against him “political persecution” in a radio interview on Friday.
He said he had never been charged with wrongdoing until today and expressed confidence that he would be cleared.
âI have full confidence in justice. i prefer that [case] is in the hands of justice than in the hands of the FGR, âhe told W Radio.
Guajardo said the FGR accused him of illicit enrichment to the tune of 9 million pesos (US $ 453,000). He said he had a bank account in the United States because he previously lived there and noted that he had four months to prepare his defense before being tried.
“For me the most important thing is my personal prestige and I will be totally dedicated to my defense,” said the Monterrey native.
One of Guajardo’s former cabinet colleagues, Rosario Robles, has been in detention awaiting trial on corruption charges for almost two years, while another, Luis Videgaray – a former finance and foreign minister who was seen as PeÃ±a Nieto’s right-hand man – was accused of corruption, but a judge last year blocked an application for an FGR’s arrest warrant.