Former Honduran President Sentenced to 45 Years in Prison

Former president Juan Orlando Hernandez during his arrest in 2022. Photo: EFE

By EFE (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – The former president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez (2014-2022), was sentenced to 45 years in prison and an additional five years of supervised release by a New York court for several drug trafficking and weapons-related offenses, thus avoiding the life sentence requested by the prosecution.

Judge Kevin Castel also imposed a fine of 8 million dollars and instructed his lawyer to clarify within two weeks how he will pay it.

Among the Hondurans at the entrance, about twenty with flags of their country, there were no apparent celebrations, perhaps because they expected a harsher sentence.

Additionally, the judge stated that he would decide within 120 days which prison Hernández, 55, who is currently in the Brooklyn jail, will serve out his sentence.

Before pronouncing the sentence, Castel told him that he was “a man of two faces”: one side proclaimed his commitment against drug trafficking, while the other facilitated the export of tons of cocaine to the United States, drugs that totaled a value of 10 million dollars, he added.

He also declared that this sentence – if served in full, he would be released at the age of 100 – sends a message “to the educated and well-dressed that they should not believe they will escape accusations.”

Hernandez, who appeared very aged, with gray hair and a matching gray beard, as well as a cane he did not release, listened to the sentence almost without reacting, perhaps because it was closer to what his defense requested (40 years) than the life sentence sought by the prosecution.

He only used his speaking turn after the sentence to ask if he could retain Renato Stabile as his lawyer, to which the judge affirmed at least until the appeal, if it occurs.

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