Former owner of Bolivia's bankrupt Aerosur convicted in absentia of illicit enrichment

A Bolivian judge has rendered a guilty verdict against the owner of the bankrupt Aerosur airline for illicit enrichment and sentenced him in absentia to five years in prison.

Judge Nancy Altuzarra also ordered the confiscation of an apartment building and a collection of 55 automobiles belonging to Humberto Roca.

Her Monday verdict was announced Tuesday by prosecutors.

Roca fled to Florida in 2010 and says he's a victim of political persecution for having sided with the political opposition. His lawyer, Jorge Valda, said Roca was preparing a statement.

Deputy transparency minister Jessica Saravia said authorities would seek Roca's extradition.

In 2013, the FBI arrested a Bolivian police officer it said was trying to extort Roca in Miami.

State-run carrier Boliviana de Aviacion filled the void left by Aerosur's demise.