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In Honduras Case Pineda Pleads Guilty While Motion to Unseal JOH Affidavit In Docket

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Feb 2 – After the president of Honduras' brother Tony Hernandez was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to life plus thirty years, on April 21, 2022 the ex-president himself, Juan Orlando Hernandez, was extradited to the US.

[Espanol aqui]

On January 18, Inner City Press live tweeted the final pre-trial conference, thread.

On January 23, after lengthy ex parte sidebars, it was said JOH for the February 12 trial could get a second lawyer, at the US taxpayers' expense, by filing out a sworn affidavit claiming poverty. He did - and at 6 pm on January 23 Inner City Press filed with the Court a motion to unseal JOH's financial affidavit - as it requested, and got, for Tigre Bonilla. Now in docket - letter now on CourtListener here DocumentCloud here

  On January 25, Pineda's lawyers put in a letter reiterating their request to sever the trial of Bonilla, who was also said to have a "file" on JOH. They state: "Mr. Bonilla is prepared to testify at trial -" Full letter on Patreon here.

On January 26, JOH's new lawyer, appointed contingent on JOH's still-sealed financial affidavit, reversed course and asked for a 90 to 120 day delay. Letter on Patreon here.

On February 2 - still with no ruling on the bid to unseal JOH's financial affidavit like Tigre Bonilla's was unsealed - Pineda pleaded guilty: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger: Change of Plea Hearing as to Mauricio Hernandez Pineda held on 2/2/2024. Defendant appears with his attorney Richard Ma. A.U.S.A. Kyle Wirshba/Elinor Tarlow present for the government. Court reporter Sharonda Jones present. Defendant entered a guilty plea to count one of the S4 Superseding Indictment of 21 USC 963, 952(a). Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger recommends that Judge Castle accept the guilty plea. Sentencing scheduled for May 2, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. Defendant continued detained.(Sentencing set for 5/2/2024 at 10:00 AM before Judge P. Kevin Castel) Plea entered by Mauricio Hernandez Pineda (4) Guilty as to Count 1." We'll have more on all this.


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