Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez (2014-2022) sat this Tuesday in a manhattan courthouse before a judge, where pleaded not guilty of the crimes of cocaine trafficking and possession of heavy weapons of which the United States Government accuses him.
Just three months and two weeks after Xiomara Castro took office as president of Honduras, replacing Hernández, the former president sat before a judge today, an unprecedented fact has shocked the Central American country.
“Not Guilty, Your Honor” Hernandez replied when asked by Judge Kevin Castel how he pleaded to the charges brought against him, and those were the only words that the former president spokewho, as usual, left his lawyer Raymond Colon to take the lead.
In his first appearance in person before Justice in the United States, where he was extradited on April 21, Hernández appeared dressed in the blue prison uniform where he awaits his trial and upon entering the courtroom, wearing a mask, He smiled and greeted the public and the press.
The judge announced that he would like to set January 17, 2023 as date for the beginning of jury selection; meanwhile, the next hearing was set for September 28, to give the Prosecutor’s Office time to gather the evidence against the former president and the defense to review it.
On April 22, the former president, who He has insisted on his innocence on countless occasionsappeared from his cell by telematic conference before Investigating Judge Stewart Aaron, who read him his rights and the charges against him.