According to a report in El Heraldo,* the president of the Supreme Court of Honduras, Jorge Rivera, has said that the “salvoconducto” that the new president, Porfirio Lobo, intends to issue to Zelaya on Wednesday, will allow the former coupster to leave the country. However, it will not relieve him of criminal responsibility for the 18 charges that are pending against him.
The only thing that can eliminate the political and related criminal charges, notably high treason, is an amnesty, which only the National Congress can issue. The previous Congress earlier this month tabled the amnesty bill that Lobo had requested. The new Congress, in which Lobo’s Nationalist party has absolute majority, and which was sworn in today, has scheduled to debate the amnesty tomorrow, Tuesday, the day before Lobo takes office.
The amnesty bill as written does not include the common crimes unrelated to political crimes, e.g. corruption, for which Zelaya is also charged. It would even be unconstitutional in Honduras to give amnesty for such crimes. Incidentally, neither Micheletti’s nor Zelaya’s supporters want any amnesty, they say.
Zelaya attempted to commit a coup d’état on June 28, but was stopped by the other branches of government. Led by the Sandinista revolutionary D’Escoto (a leftist ally of Zelaya, Chávez, and Castro), the General Assembly of the United Nations declared the democratic institutions “coupsters”, and demanded that the real coupster, Zelaya, be reinstated as president.
Also tomorrow, the Supreme Court of Justice will sentence the military leadership for having allowed the coupster Zelaya to leave the country, rather than to throw him in jail as they had been instructed to do. The militaries’ defense is that they acted to protect the nation, and – from what I gather – save lives from expected armed jail-breaking attempts by Venezuelan and Nicaraguan agents who had been arriving the preceding days.
*2010-01-26: This is contradicted in today’s El Heraldo. The justice will not state an opinion because the case may come before him, he says. The previous story was thus in error.