Political News

Guatemalans fear bill will replace sentences with fines

Posted September 14

— Guatemala's human rights prosecutor has asked the country's highest court to block legislation approved by congress that could replace prison sentences of 10 years with fines.

Prosecutor Jordan Rodas said Thursday the legislation represented a danger to the public. President Jimmy Morales said he would study the bill and veto it if it appeared harmful.

Legislators apparently meant just to reduce punishments for illegal campaign financing when they approved the bill Wednesday. Morales is accused of illicit campaign financing.

The bill reduces sentences for the charge from 12 to 10 years, and stipulates those convicted could pay a fine instead of serving time.

But prosecutors say that leaves open the possibility that people convicted of crimes like extortion, robbery or manslaughter might also be able to pay fines.

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