- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Nicaraguan President Enrique Bolanos yesterday ruled out additional anticorruption trials after a sensational trial that ended with former President Arnoldo Aleman being sentenced to 20 years for fraud and misuse of public funds.

He also rejected any suggestion of a South African-style truth and reconciliation commission to deal with abuses during the country’s 17-year civil war, which ended with elections that ousted the Sandinista Front government of Daniel Ortega in 1990.

“We’re peaceful. We’ve gotten together,” Mr. Bolanos told reporters and editors in an interview at The Washington Times. “If we try to upset that, it will bring pain to the old wounds.”

Amnesty was granted after the 1990 elections to both rebel and government sides for crimes committed during the conflict.

“They came to an agreement that amnesty had to be given. Up to today, amnesty means amnesia,” Mr. Bolanos said.

Mr. Aleman was led away smiling on Dec. 10 after Judge Juana Mendez handed him a $17 million fine and 20-year prison term for stealing millions of dollars from the impoverished nation.

The judge ordered the former president and mayor of Managua to serve the time at his El Chile ranch outside the capital. The 57-year-old former politician suffers from a heart condition and diabetes.

Mr. Bolanos was in Washington for meetings with the IMF and the World Bank and to conclude a free-trade deal between Central American nations and the United States.

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