Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Guatemala rejects allegations of role in lawyer's death

(CNN) -- Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom has dismissed an allegation that he was behind the death of a lawyer who left a video blaming the president if anything happened to him.

The lawyer, Rodrigo Rosenberg, was shot and killed Sunday while riding a bicycle in Guatemala City.

On Monday, a video surfaced in which Rosenberg -- seated behind a desk and calmly speaking into a microphone -- linked Colom and an aide to his death.

"If you are watching this message," Rosenberg said on the video, "it is because I was assassinated by President Alvaro Colom, with help from Gustavo Alejos," the president's private secretary. Rosenberg mentions a third person who he believes would have been involved in his death and also mentions those three people as well as the president's wife in connection with two killings last month.

In a broadcast to the nation Monday night, Colom denied any connection.

"We categorically reject the accusations that pretend to tie the president, first lady and private secretary as those responsible for this assassination," Colom said.

A dated and signed transcript of the video's content indicates Rosenberg made the recording last week. It surfaced Monday after his funeral, and was posted on YouTube and distributed to other media outlets by the newspaper El Periodico de Guatemala.

Rosenberg's video said he was targeted for talking about the death of prominent businessman Khalil Musa and his daughter in April.

They were killed, Rosenberg said, because they had refused to participate in acts of corruption as the president wanted.

See the rest of the story here.

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