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Guatemala, February 24, 2011. The former head of the National Mortgage Credit Bank (CHN), José Armando Llort Quiteño, testified today via videoconference from New York as part of the trial of former President Alfonso Portillo. Llort Quiteño confirmed that the former President had given him GTQ 30 million in cash. This supports the hypothesis of the MP and CICIG in the case underway concerning the former President.

The statement was made before the Eleventh Trial Court, where the trial is being held of the former President and two of his former Ministers (the former Minister of Defence, Eduardo Arévalo Lacs, and the former Minister of Finance, Manuel Hiram Maza Castellanos).

Llort said that former President Portillo handed over GTQ 30 million between March 5, 6 and 9, 2001: "I received 30 million quetzales from President Portillo, which were delivered by Jacobo Salán Sánchez and Napoleón Rojas in batches of 10 million per day."

He added that on the first day, the pair arrived at CHN at 17.00 hours, at which time they told him that they were late in arriving because they had counted the money at the house of former President Portillo. Llort Quiteño admitted that he subsequently instructed Salomón Abraham Molina Girón to deposit the money into accounts under the name of Llort. Molina Girón is a witness that testified yesterday, also via videoconference.

In his testimony, the witness referred to the businesses where GTQ 30 million had been deposited: Confia S.A. and Jallcafé S.A., which he admitted to own, along with other ghost companies that were created to conduct these types of transaction.

He also said that Luis Alberto Gómez Guillermo—who worked at the Department of Finance of the Ministry of Defense—told him that the money came from their portfolio and there would be no problems because it was a "secret account" and no explanations would have to be given as to the origin of the money.

He said that Portillo had asked him for a number of cheques to cover the following expenses: 4 million quetzales to purchase a plot of land, one 15,000 dollar watch, 750,000 dollars to purchase a telephone tapping device, and 250,000 quetzales to pay various hostesses.

José Armando Llort Quiteño statement

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  The Republic of Guatemala, a mountainous country that lies in the Central American isthmus, has an estimated population of 13 million people.
  Guatemala won its independence in 1821, following almost three centuries of Spanish colonial rule.
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