August 8, 2018 / 2:54 AM / 4 months ago

Jailed ex-Guatemalan president in stable condition after 'cardiac problem'

FILE PHOTO: Guatemala's former President Otto Perez speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Matamoros Army Base, in Guatemala City, Guatemala October 24, 2015. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez/File Photo

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Jailed former Guatemalan president Otto Perez was conscious and in stable condition and being evaluated by specialists at a hospital, the medical center’s director said on Tuesday, after he suffered what his lawyer described was a “cardiac problem.”

Perez was transferred to Guatemala City’s Roosevelt hospital from jail after experiencing trouble with his pacemaker, said hospital director Marco Antonio Barrientos

After an incident playing sport Perez “felt that his pace maker gave him three, four (electric) shocks,” said Barrientos.

There was concern that if pace maker emitted a stronger electric charge, Perez could have a heart attack, said Barrientos. He added that Perez was being evaluated by cardiologists to decide what steps to take next.

“The family called me to tell me that General Perez Molina had a cardiac problem. I do not know the severity,” the ex-president’s defense lawyer Cesar Calderon told Reuters.

“Since it is an emergency, his transfer to a hospital was requested,” said Calderon, of the politician who previously served in the army.

Perez was forced to resign and imprisoned in a multi-million dollar graft case stemming from an investigation by the U.N.-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).

Reporting by Sofia Menchu; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Nick Macfie

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