Former Bolivian Prez to be prosecuted for defamation

Jorge Quiroga is accused of defaming a financial institution.

La Paz: Former Bolivian president Jorge Quiroga, opponent of Evo Morales` administration, is accused of defaming a financial institution.

Quiroga (2001-2002) affirmed on Monday that Banco Union SA bank, with 83 percent of stocks held by the State, in February 2009 was "a laundry of ill-gotten resources, of Venezuelan resources and corruption resources".

He made these allegations while an investigation was being carried out by the prosecutor`s office on the destination of USD 45,000 held in trust.

The investigation showed that through Supreme Decree, that bank received USD 45 million granted by Bolivian Tax Oil Fields (YPFB) to International Corporation Catler Hidrocarburos SA.

That amount should have financed half of the cost of the construction of a plant for the extraction of liquid gas, but the project was not carried out due to the misappropriation of millions of dollars in the state oil company.

The bank sued Quiroga, who may receive penalties of imprisonment of up to two years.