A Guatemalan court has ordered top officials of the country’s Social Security institute and other suspects jailed during a probe of a fraud and corruption scandal.
Judge Silvia de Leon’s ruling late Tuesday allows prosecutors to investigate for at least two months.
The 17 suspects include the president of Social Security, a businessman who is on the institute’s board of directors and the head of Guatemala’s Central Bank.
Prosecutors and a U.N. anti-crime commission say the Social Security board authorized a $15 million contract to provide dialysis treatment to kidney patients. Officials allegedly took commissions for awarding the contract.
Investigators say at least 13 patients died from contaminated treatments, although for now the probe is focusing only on the alleged fraud and graft.