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Mexico to try ex-governor for embezzlement

Posted on May 10 2014 | IANS

Mexico City, May 10 : A former governor of the central Mexican state of Aguascalientes will go on trial for embezzlement, the judiciary said.

State Judge Margarita Zavala concluded the evidence against Luis Armando Reynoso Femat is sufficient to proceed with a trial, court clerk Roberto Ornelas said at a public hearing Friday.

Reynoso, who was detained on the night of May 2 while attending a bullfight in Aguascalientes city, the state capital, has 10 days to appeal the indictment, the clerk said.

But the former governor said he would instead seek relief from the federal judiciary, "which is not manipulated".

He also criticised Zavala's handling of the case.

"It was easy for her to issue the arrest warrant in less than three hours, when it took more than 51 hours to give us copies of the file to study the case and my attorneys were without means to analyse it," Reynoso said.

Reynoso governed Aguascalientes as a member of the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, from December 2004 to November 2010.

The politician is accused of defrauding the government coffers of nearly 40 million pesos (USD 2.9 million) via the illegal sale of state land and generating fraudulent invoices for equipment that was never acquired, according to press accounts.

Reynoso was released from custody late Thursday after posting bail amounting 30 million pesos (USD 2.2 million).

He was arrested on other charges last year, but managed to get that case quashed.

Prosecutors are also looking at the roles played by several other individuals, including the former governor's son, Luis Armando Reynoso Lopez, in the various deals.

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