The former governor of Tabasco was sentenced to almost 11 years in prison yesterday for embezzling 196 million pesos (US $10.4 million at today’s exchange rate) in 2010.
A judge in the state capital Villahermosa also imposed a fine of 525 days’ salary against Andrés Granier for the theft of funds from the state’s public health sector and ordered that he pay back the embezzled money.
A lawyer for the former Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) governor challenged the ruling, arguing that a diversion of funds had never occurred and that there is documentary proof of the use of the resources, albeit in a different year.
“This sentence is a complete slur, to say the least, there is no embezzlement here. In 2011 there was under-spending of funds in Tabasco and that money was returned to a concentration account, but the following year the money was used in the health sector,” Eduardo Luengo Creel said.
“To accuse someone of embezzlement there must be a diversion of money and here there isn’t one,” he argued.
He also indicated that he would appeal the ruling in the Tabasco Superior Court of Justice.
Granier has faced five charges in total, two in Tabasco and three in the federal jurisdiction. He has now been convicted of one charge and absolved of another.
At the federal level he is accused of tax evasion of a combined total of over 2.8 million pesos.
In Tabasco he is also accused of another separate embezzlement of public funds totaling just over 2.6 million pesos.
In 2015, a federal court acquitted the ex-governor of laundering of 35.3 million pesos, ruling that the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) had not proved that the money came from the state treasury or that the funds were proceeds of illicit activity.
However, after the first accusations were made against him, Granier was held in custody in a Mexico City penitentiary from June 25, 2013. But he only remained there until July 11 of the same year.
He was subsequently transferred to the medical wing of the Tepepan penitentiary in Mexico City where he still remains. It is the same facility where former teachers’ union boss Elba Esther Gordillo was held for a period following her arrest.
The ex-governor was in office in the gulf coast state from January 2007 to December 2012. He was previously the mayor of Centro, the municipality where Villahermosa is located.
Source: Reforma (sp)