MANAGUA, Nicaragua, Sept. 7 (UPI) — Former president of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, facing a probe over alleged corruption in relation to illegal funds, has been granted asylum in Nicaragua.
Nicaraguan authorities said the asylum request was granted over fears Funes’ life was in danger. His partner and three children were also granted asylum.
Funes moved to Nicaragua three months ago after prosecutors in El Salvador began their case against him, which includes allegations of political corruption. Prosecutors said Funes has not explained where he received more than $700,000 of income.
Funes has said he is innocent and fled to Nicaragua to avoid political persecution — accusing the political right of El Salvador of carrying out an unwarranted investigation.
Through Twitter, the former journalist said the political right of his country is wrong in saying he is a “fugitive of justice” following the asylum approval.
“Asylum only seeks to guarantee protection from persecution. I have not rejected facing the judicial process or to prove my innocence,” Funes said. “I have profound reasons to ensure there exists a plan of attack by the extreme right against me. For that, I applied for asylum and protection.
Funes said he received messages while in El Salvador from the political right that threatened his “physical integrity.”