Guatemalan businessmen to build roads and school as part of bribery sentence

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Nine Guatemalan businessmen who were sentenced on Wednesday for paying bribes to receive public contracts will have to build roads and a school in the Central American country as part of their punishment, according to a U.N.-backed anti-corruption body.

The businessmen were implicated in a web of corruption exposed last year by the Guatemalan prosecutor’s office and the U.N.-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) that took place during the administration of former infrastructure minister Alejandro Sinibaldi, who is still at large.

The nine businessmen sought expedited proceedings by admitting to paying the bribes, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the CICIG. They were ordered by a Guatemalan tribunal to pay fines equivalent to $67,500 each.

In addition, as a group, they will have to repair and construct at least six roads and build a school in a rural area of the impoverished country, according to the CICIG.

Lawyers for the businessmen could not immediately be reached for comment.

Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Writing by Julia Love; Editing by Christian Schmollinger