Mauricio Funes ordered to restore $419,145 in illicit riches
Funes immediately launched into another defense of himself from his Twitter account. Funes announced that he would appeal the decision and challenged the government to prove that any of this money had come from Salvadoran government coffers. Funes blamed the outcome on pressure from the right in the country.
For his part, El Salvador's attorney general, Douglas Meléndez, called the judgement an historic event without precedent in the fight against corruption.
Funes may still be prosecuted criminally by the attorney general.
Funes' two predecessors in office also faced corruption charges. Funes' predecessor, Tony Saca, from the right wing ARENA party, is accused of looting the largest amounts. Saca is charged with diverting more than $246 million of public funds, and currently sits in prison awaiting trial. Before Saca was Francisco Flores, who died last year awaiting trial on charges that he diverted $15 million in earthquake relief funds received from the government of Taiwan.
In comparison to Flores and Saca, Funes' ill-gotten gains seem pretty small.