Honduran president target of U.S. investigation, court filings show

Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez speaks during a joint message with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acting Secretary Chad Wolf (not pictured), at the Presidential House in Tegucigalpa, Honduras January 9, 2020. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

MONTERREY, Mexico, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The United States is investigating Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, a new court filing reveals, upping pressure on a leader who prosecutors have already accused in court of participation in the nation's bloody narcotics trade.

In a court document filed Friday night in the Southern District of New York in the case of alleged drug-trafficker Geovanny Fuentes Ramirez, U.S. prosecutors acknowledged for the first time that Hernandez himself is the target of an investigation, along with other "high-ranking officials."

The filing did not say what Hernandez is being investigated for, although it comes after U.S. prosecutors said in a court filing in January that Hernandez "accepted millions of dollars in drug-trafficking proceeds and, in exchange, promised drug traffickers protection from prosecutors, law enforcement, and (later) extradition to the United States."

The Honduran government did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Hernandez has strongly denied any ties to drug cartels.

Reporting by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Dave Graham and Chizu Nomiyama

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