MEXICO CITY – A federal judge has given prosecutors authorization to try former Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte on organized crime and money laundering charges, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office said.
Federal Judge Gerardo Moreno Garcia issued an order Saturday allowing prosecutors to go to trial against Duarte, the AG’s office said in a Twitter post.
The judge agreed that there was sufficient evidence to make a case against the former governor, who was extradited from Guatemala last week, the AG’s office said.
Prosecutors allege that the 43-year-old Duarte committed various crimes in the states of Veracruz and Campeche, as well as in Mexico City, between 2011-2016 while serving as governor.
Duarte used “at least nine people and different front companies” to launder money, prosecutors allege.
Judge Moreno gave prosecutors six months to continue investigating Duarte.
The prosecutor in charge of the case presented 82 items to the court as evidence that the former governor allegedly took 38 million pesos (about $2.16 million).
On July 17, Guatemalan authorities extradited Duarte, who belonged to the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), to Mexico.
The AG’s office alleges that Duarte misappropriated large sums of public funds, using the money to buy real estate in Mexico and abroad.
Duarte was arrested on April 15 at a hotel in Panajachel, a city in the Guatemalan province of Solola.
The former governor entered Guatemala illegally by land last November, officials said.
The former governor was detained at the La Riviera Hotel, one of the most luxurious in the area, by Interpol agents from Guatemala.