The president and founder of the extinct The newspaperJosé Rubén Zamora, will face trial again, after the Second Court of Appeals annulled the sentence issued on June 14 by the Eighth Court of Criminal Sentencing of Guatemala that sentenced him to six years of incommutable prison for money laundering and other assets, while acquitting him of the crimes of influence peddling and blackmail when considering that they had not been able to be accredited by the Prosecutor’s Office.
The Second Chamber ordered a repeat of the trial against the journalist after accepting the special appeal for formal reasons filed by the Attorney General’s Office (State Attorney’s Office) against the sentence of Zamora, who is in preventive detention in the military prison. of Mariscal Zavala since he was arrested on July 29, 2022 at his home, after a raid on the newspaper’s headquarters which published its last edition on May 15 and which in 2021 received from the hands of the King Felipe VI the King of Spain Award for Outstanding Communication Media in Ibero-America.
The PGN considered that the Sentencing Court violated the interests of the State of Guatemala “by not dictating a duly motivated and substantiated sentencethereby violating the right of defense and criminal action and leaving the State in a state of defenselessness. Specifically, he pointed out that the ruling lacks foundation as it does not comply with article 11 bis of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which stipulates that the records and the sentences will contain a “clear and precise justification for the decision and its absence constitutes an absolute defect in form.”
The Second Court of Appeals agreed with the PGN by ruling that the Eighth Court issued a ruling that “is not properly motivated and argued in the sections of the accreditation of fact, existence of crime and criminal responsibility and thus failed to comply with the requirements.” which must contain a sentence for it to have legal effects”.
In this sense, it considers that the Court “did not duly and legitimately justify” its decision to acquit Zamora of the crimes of influence peddling and blackmail, as well as to acquit the former prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Impunity. Samari Gómez of the crime of revealing reserved or confidential information. This means, in the opinion of the Second Chamber, that the sentence handed down “lacks legal validity due to defects in form that constitute absolute grounds for formal annulment”, which is why it orders the Ninth Criminal Sentencing Court to set a new day and time for a new trial against Zamora and Gómez.