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Fugitive Salvadoran ex-president given Nicaragua citizenship

Posted at 12:33 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 15:33:12-04

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Nicaragua has granted citizenship to Salvadoran ex-President Mauricio Funes, who has been in the country under political asylum since 2016 and is wanted back home on allegations of illicit enrichment and embezzlement.

The decision by President Daniel Ortega’s government takes legal effect with its publication Tuesday in the official Gazette. It also grants citizenship to Funes’ wife and two sons.

The measure would block Funes’ possible extradition, as Nicaragua’s constitution prohibits extradition of Nicaraguan nationals.

Funes faces four arrest warrants back home for cases of alleged corruption and the purported diversion of $351 million in state money. He denies the allegations.

The office of Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele did not immediately respond to a request for comment.