Nicaragua: 7 Opposition Leaders Blamed for Conspiracy

Seven Nicaraguan opposition leaders, including three former presidential candidates, were found guilty of “conspiracy” by judicial authorities, at the conclusion of a marathon trial that lasted seven days on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the opposition Civic Alliance said that Judge Félix Salmerón found opposition leaders Félix Maradiaga, Juan Sebastián Chamorro and Arturo Cruz guilty of “conspiracy to undermine national integrity”, imprisoned when they tried to challenge President Daniel Ortega for power. in the elections on November 7.

The same judge handed down a guilty verdict against the former vice chancellor of Nicaragua, José Pallais; the leader of private businessmen, José Adán Aguerri, and opposition leaders Violeta Granera and Tamara Dávila, the latter director of the Blue and White National Unity (UNAB).

According to the Public Ministry, the seven opponents tried to “conspire” against Ortega through communications held in a WhatsApp group formed by political analyst Manuel Orozco, director of the Inter-American Dialogue and who was tried in absentia, for residing in the United States.

Cruz and Pallais, who benefited from house arrest last week for health reasons, were evacuated from their homes and taken back to the El Chipote prison, where they were forced to wear prison uniforms to attend the trial, denounced Vilma Núñez, president of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh).

The Prosecutor’s Office asked the judge to issue sentences of 13 years in prison for Chamorro, Aguerri, Maradiaga and Pallais, while for Cruz he requested 9 years in prison, and for Granera and Dávila 8 years. The convictions will be announced on March 3, said the spokesman for the Civic Alliance.

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