The Americas

El Salvador top court OKs civil trial for its former chief

El Salvador's Supreme Court has ordered a civil trial of the body's former president on suspicion of illicit enrichment.

Tuesday's ruling comes in the case of Agustin Garcia Calderon, who was Supreme Court chief magistrate from 2000 to 2009. He is alleged to have been unable to justify the origin of some $165,000 in personal accounts.

Garcia Calderon has not made public statements about his case. If he were to lose in the civil trial, he would not face any criminal penalty. But he could be ordered to forfeit the money and be barred from holding public office for 10 years.

In the past, the court has ordered similar civil proceeding against officials including former presidents Mauricio Funes and Tony Saca for suspected illicit enrichment.