For the second time, a Honduran court has convicted former first lady Rosa Elena Bonilla and her private secretary of corruption.
Honduras, TEGUCIGALPA — On Thursday, a Honduran court convicted former first lady Rosa Elena Bonilla of corruption for the second time.
Bonilla was sentenced to 58 years in jail in September 2019 for stealing more than $1 million in government funds between 2010 and 2014, during the presidency of her husband, Porfirio Lobo.
Six months later, however, the Supreme Court of Justice reversed her conviction, citing procedural issues and demanding a new trial.
That second trial also ended in a conviction on Thursday.
The Honduran judicial system announced Thursday via Twitter that Bonilla had been unanimously convicted of embezzlement and fraud. Sal Escobar, her private secretary at the time, was also convicted on Thursday.
The judge ordered them to be held in jail until their sentence on Monday.
They were accused of misappropriating public funds intended for social projects,” said Luca Villars, a court system spokesman.
The inquiry that led to the charges began with an anti-corruption mission in Honduras by the Organization of American States.
According to prosecutors, Bonilla transferred $480,000 from the first lady’s government account to her personal account four days before Lobo left office. Between 2010 and 2014, the defendants allegedly stole $650,000 from the office through checks sent to nine front businesses.
After a military coup deposed then-President Manuel Zelaya, Bonilla’s husband was elected in late 2009 and served until 2014.
Fabio Lobo, the couple’s son, was sentenced to 24 years in jail in 2017 by a US court after pleading guilty to charges of conspiring to transport cocaine into the US.