The Americas

Guatemala court lifts immunity of presidential adviser

Guatemala's Supreme Court has granted a request by prosecutors to lift the immunity of Edgar Justino Ovalle, a lawmaker and adviser to President Jimmy Morales.

Ovalle is a former military officer accused of participation in rights abuses during the 1960-1996 civil war. He is now a member of Congress, which gave him immunity from prosecution.

Court spokesman Angel Pineda says Wednesday's decision strips him that immunity and opens the way to try him. He is suspected of murder, forced disappearance and crimes against humanity.

Ovalle has been linked to the kidnapping of multiple people in 1983 and 1984, when he was second in command of a military zone in Coban, north of Guatemala City.

The victims were later killed and buried in clandestine graves on a military base.