Medical sales trial begins against Honduras' Vice President Lena Gutiérrez
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Medical sales trial begins against Honduras' Vice President Lena Gutiérrez

A special judge in Honduras has begun a formal trial against congressional Vice President Lena Gutiérrez of the ruling National Party in a medical sales scandal that has rocked the Central American country and led to mass protests against corruption and impunity.

President of the Supreme Court Jorge Rivera is proceeding against Gutiérrez, her father, two siblings and 12 others after reviewing witness testimony and prosecutorial evidence. The trial started Wednesday.

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Rivera was appointed special judge because of Gutierrez’s congressional immunity.

Gutiérrez and the others face five counts of improper use of public documents and fraudulent drugs sales to the Social Security Institute and the Health Ministry. The prosecution alleges that Gutiérrez’s company, AstroPharma Laboratory, sold the government substandard drugs at inflated prices. The defendants have denied the charges.

Associated Press