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Guatemalan court rules against lifting president's immunity

GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala's Supreme Court has ruled against a request by prosecutors that could have led to President Jimmy Morales being stripped of his immunity.

Chief prosecutor Thelma Aldama wanted to investigate $61,000 that Morales apparently received from the army. Morales defended the payment, but returned the money.

On Wednesday, Supreme Court spokesman Angel Pineda said the court ruled the federal controller had already sanctioned Morales by making him return the money and that he could not be sanctioned twice.

In August, Aldama and the head of the U.N. anti-corruption commission asked that Morales' immunity be lifted so they could investigate alleged illegal campaign finance. The court let the request proceed, but lawmakers twice voted against stripping the president's immunity from prosecution.

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