Francisco Flores, El Salvador’s ex-President, has handed himself voluntarily to the court.
During his term as President from 1999 and 2004, Flores was accused of misappropriating $15m given to him by Taiwan for earthquake relief efforts. Other new sources report the number as $5.3m.
Flores had been missing for several months on the run from corruption charges including embezzlement and illicit gains. He had absent since January and was believed to be residing in Panama. Justice Minister Ricardo Perdomo and his team suspects Flores left by sea on a yacht, stopped in Aserradero, Nicaragua to refuel, before continuing on to Panama.
According to El Salvador’s judiciary, he turned himself in on September 5, 2014. A judge has now put him under house-arrest while the US conducts ongoing investigations regarding suspicious transfers into his bank account. Judiciary spokesman Ulises Marinero said, “He presented himself voluntarily to the courts. Now we will read the charges against him, explain why he will be held in prison, and explain what crimes he’s accused of.”
Authorities state Flores is not a political target; he is instead “being pursued for crimes he committed as president of the republic.”
Mr. Flores has shown a repetitive pattern requesting donations from Taiwan. The reasons, which he insists are politically motivated, have ranged from fighting drugs and crime, to aiding in reconstruction after the 2001 earthquake that resulted in over 1500 casualties.