Ex-Bolivian President Jeanine Anez Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison Over 2019 Coup

© AP Photo / Juan KaritaBolivia's interim President Jeanine Anez at the presidential palace, in La Paz, Bolivia
Bolivia's interim President Jeanine Anez  at the presidential palace, in La Paz, Bolivia - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.06.2022
Anez became the country's leader in 2019 after the resignation of former President Evo Morales due to pressure from the Bolivian opposition. After organizing a new presidential election in October 2020, she was arrested in March 2021 and charged with participating in and organizing the 2019 coup d'état.
Former Bolivian President Jeanine Anez was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday after being found guilty of taking part in the 2019 coup that allowed her rise to power and replace her predecessor, Evo Morales.
Bolivia's First Sentencing Court of La Paz issued its sentencing on the crimes of breaching her duties, as well as resolutions contrary to the law and constitution, which she is said to have committed after coming to power in November 2019.
After more than seven hours of deliberation, the court also sentenced the former Police General, Yuri Calderon, and the former commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Williams Kaliman Romero, both currently fugitives, to 10 years.
Bolivia's interim President Jeanine Anez, wearing a mask amid the new coronavirus pandemic, carries her dog as she greets people during an announcement to create a shelter for abandoned animals in La Paz, Bolivia, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.06.2021
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The prosecution reportedly requested in their final arguments 15 years in prison for Anez and the other six defendants, who are members of the police and military high command.
Anez's defense lawyers have indicated their intention to file appeal, noting that they will be reaching out to international bodies to rectify the court's ruling. Luis Guillen, who represented Anez, told to the New York Times that the decision was 'politically motivated.'
Anez, then a senator, assumed power temporarily in 2019 in the midst of a political and social crisis, which Morales described as a coup, after he was forced to resign due to civic protests and political upheaval. At the time, Morales had won a new term as head of state in the October 2019 election.
Due to COVID-19 constraints, the court began virtually on Thursday. Anez's counsel reportedly requested that the trial be held in person, and that it should be postponed. However, no new date had been established.
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The 54-year-old conservative politician has been kept in pre-trial custody for over a year. Previous reports have detailed that she allegedly tried to harm herself and even went so far as going on hunger strike. She has maintained her innocence throughout the investigation and trial, claiming the whole process was political persecution.
In October 2021, an official inquiry found no evidence of election fraud in the 2019 presidential election, as indicated by an August report by the Organization of American States (OAS), Bolivia's Foreign Minister Rogelio Mayta said at the time.
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