Two Nicaraguan businessmen were found guilty on Friday of “undermining national integrity,” joining a list of opponents of the government of President Daniel Ortega who have been imprisoned and sentenced in the last year in a series of trials harshly criticized by the international community. .
The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh) announced the verdict in the trials of businessmen Michael Healy and Álvaro Vargas, directors of Nicaragua’s main business chamber, COSEP, and said that the attorney general’s office requested 13-year sentences for the first and nine years for the second.
The sentences for the crimes, comparable to treason according to Nicaraguan law, would be announced next week, the agency added in a statement.
“We reject and condemn this judicial pantomime,” said Cenidh, which demanded the immediate release of the businessmen.
The Ortega government, which won the presidential elections in November and its fourth consecutive term, after repressing and imprisoning practically all of its political rivals, did not respond to a Reuters query to corroborate what the Cenidh said. Read full story
Both businessmen were captured by the police in October last year. Healy leaving an interview at the prosecutor’s office, and Vargas, at his house. Both are members of the Civic Alliance, an opposition group whose presidential candidates were also arrested. Read full story
More than 40 opponents have been found guilty of crimes of treason, money laundering, before and after the elections, which the president of the United States, Joe Biden, described as “electoral pantomime”, while the European Union ( EU) has said that they completed the conversion of Nicaragua into an autocratic regime.