El Salvador prosecutors seek ex-president Funes’ extradition

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Salvadoran prosecutors on Friday sought the extradition of former President Mauricio Funes and three family members on corruption charges.

Funes, the relatives and ex-officials are accused in connection with the alleged embezzlement of $351 million in public funds.

Funes and his family have been living since 2016 in nearby Nicaragua, which granted them political asylum. He denies wrongdoing.

The extradition petition was filed with the judge overseeing the investigation and, if approved, the request would be referred to the Foreign Relations Ministry. There is no fixed timeframe for the process.

The extradition request came a day after a separate investigation was begun into the alleged diversion of $10 million donated by Taiwan during Funes’ 2009-14 government. The money was purportedly transferred from the Foreign Ministry to the presidency and used for political campaigning by Funes’ party.

Earlier this week, ex-President Tony Saca of the Arena party was sentenced to 10 years in prison for embezzlement and money laundering.