Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Guatemala asks for UN probe into lawyer killing

GUATEMALA CITY—A slain man's videotaped and posthumously broadcast accusation that President Alvaro Colom ordered his murder threw Guatemala into an uproar and prompted government calls Tuesday for a U.N. agency and the FBI to investigate the killing.

Colom vehemently denied the allegations made in a videotape left by lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg, who was shot to death by unidentified assailants while riding his bicycle Sunday. Opposition leaders and protesters called for Colom to step aside.

"If you are watching this message, it is because I was assassinated by President Alvaro Colom with help from Gustavo Alejos," the president's secretary, Rosenberg said in the video distributed at his funeral on Monday.

Rosenberg said on the tape that officials might want to kill him because he represented businessman Khalil Musa, who was slain in March. The lawyer alleged that Musa was killed because he refused to engage in acts of corruption that Colom purportedly invited him to participate in.

The Guatemala City newspaper Prensa Libre said the recording "has created the greatest political crisis for this democracy, because never before has a democratically elected president been accused of murder."

Television stations repeatedly broadcast the video and so many people watched it on Guatemalan Internet sites that some temporarily collapsed under the load.

Read the rest of the story here.

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