NEW YORK — A convicted drug trafficker testified in a New York courtroom on Thursday that he met with the brother of current Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez to get the Central American country's government to pay its debts with a company that the trafficker's cartel used to launder money.
Devis Leonel Rivera Maradiaga, ex-leader of the cartel known the Cachiros, testified about Antonio "Tony" Hernandez in a pre-sentencing hearing for the son of retired Honduran President Porfirio Lobo Sosa.
The son — Fabio Lobo — has pleaded guilty to cocaine smuggling. Rivera Maradiaga testified earlier that he bribed both Lobos.
Rivera Maradiaga said Honduras' government owed money to Inrimar, a company it did business with that the Cachiros also used to launder drug profits.
In a statement read to reporters Thursday night at a Tegucigalpa hotel, "Tony" Hernandez denied involvement in illegal activities and said he was "at the disposition of Honduran or international justice for any investigation."
He said gave voluntary testimony to the Department of Justice in Miami last November and testified to Honduras' Public Ministry in January.
"I reaffirm strongly that I am ready to collaborate with any investigation that is carried out in a serious fashion, and like I did before, I am ready to present myself again to authorities in the United States if it is required because he who doesn't owe, doesn't fear," he said.
Claudia Torrens, The Associated Press