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Opposition figures including Chamorro convicted in Nicaragua

March 12, 2022 GMT
FILE - Cristiana Chamorro, former director of the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation for Reconciliation and Democracy, and daughter of a former president, arrives at the public Ministry where she was called for a meeting to explain alleged "inconsistencies" in financial reports filed with the government between 2015 and 2019 in Managua, Nicaragua, May 21, 2021. Chamorro has been taken to court on Thursday, March 3, 2022, along with her brother Pedro Joaquin Chamorro accused by the the government of Daniel Ortega of money laundering. ( AP Photo/Esteban Felix, File)
FILE - Cristiana Chamorro, former director of the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation for Reconciliation and Democracy, and daughter of a former president, arrives at the public Ministry where she was called for a meeting to explain alleged "inconsistencies" in financial reports filed with the government between 2015 and 2019 in Managua, Nicaragua, May 21, 2021. Chamorro has been taken to court on Thursday, March 3, 2022, along with her brother Pedro Joaquin Chamorro accused by the the government of Daniel Ortega of money laundering. ( AP Photo/Esteban Felix, File)
FILE - Cristiana Chamorro, former director of the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation for Reconciliation and Democracy, and daughter of a former president, arrives at the public Ministry where she was called for a meeting to explain alleged "inconsistencies" in financial reports filed with the government between 2015 and 2019 in Managua, Nicaragua, May 21, 2021. Chamorro has been taken to court on Thursday, March 3, 2022, along with her brother Pedro Joaquin Chamorro accused by the the government of Daniel Ortega of money laundering. ( AP Photo/Esteban Felix, File)
FILE - Cristiana Chamorro, former director of the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation for Reconciliation and Democracy, and daughter of a former president, arrives at the public Ministry where she was called for a meeting to explain alleged "inconsistencies" in financial reports filed with the government between 2015 and 2019 in Managua, Nicaragua, May 21, 2021. Chamorro has been taken to court on Thursday, March 3, 2022, along with her brother Pedro Joaquin Chamorro accused by the the government of Daniel Ortega of money laundering. ( AP Photo/Esteban Felix, File)
FILE - Cristiana Chamorro, former director of the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation for Reconciliation and Democracy, and daughter of a former president, arrives at the public Ministry where she was called for a meeting to explain alleged "inconsistencies" in financial reports filed with the government between 2015 and 2019 in Managua, Nicaragua, May 21, 2021. Chamorro has been taken to court on Thursday, March 3, 2022, along with her brother Pedro Joaquin Chamorro accused by the the government of Daniel Ortega of money laundering. ( AP Photo/Esteban Felix, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A judge in Nicaragua convicted Cristiana Chamorro, a journalist, potential presidential contender and daughter of former President Violeta Chamorro, of money laundering and other crimes Friday.

The news site Confidencial, run by Cristiana Chamorro’s brother Carlos Fernando Chamorro, reported late Friday that she, two members of her mother’s foundation, a driver, as well as a former lawmaker and other Chamorro sibling Pedro Joaquín Chamorro were all convicted Friday at the conclusion of a seven-day trial.

Cristiana Chamorro has been under house arrest since June, one of several dozen opposition figures arrested by President Daniel Ortega’s government ahead of the November elections. With Chamorro and other high-profile potential challengers out of the way, Ortega walked to easy victory for a fourth consecutive term.

Carlos Fernando Chamorro said via Twitter that Ortega’s justice system had found them all guilty. He faced similar charges but had moved into exile.

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Vilma Nuñez, director of the nongovernmental Nicaragua Center for Human Rights, also confirmed the verdicts.

Ortega has targeted nongovernmental organizations in Nicaragua, cutting off their foreign funding, seizing their offices and canceling their charters. He has alleged they worked with foreign interests that wanted to see him removed from office.

The Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation closed its operations in January 2021. It had provided training for journalists, helped finance journalistic outlets and defended freedom of expression.

Cristiana Chamorro, 68, had previously served as editor of La Prensa, Nicaragua’s largest newspaper. Her father, Pedro Joaquín Chamorro had been its editor until his murder in 1978.

The trial was one in a string of trials that began last month inside the notorious El Chipote prison.