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Banker Accused of Bribing Ex-Governor to Face Two Federal Trials

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American and Puerto Rican flags fly outside the Capitol of Puerto Rico building in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

Photographer: Xavier Garcia/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nov. 30, 2023, 11:09 PM UTC
Holly Barker

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  • Defendants will be charged together on first four counts
  • Banker will face second trial on remaining three charges

Former Puerto Rico governor Wanda Vázquez-Garced will be tried alongside bank founder Julio M. Herrera-Velutini in a corruption trial tentatively scheduled for early 2024—but not on all counts seven counts listed in the 2022 indictment.

Herrera-Veluntini will be tried separately on counts five through seven of the indictment, after the US District Court for the District of Puerto Rico said it had identified “prejudicial joinder.”

“While the Court recognizes the burden severance imposes on its calendar and the Government, efficiency cannot come at the cost of defendants’ rights to a fair trial,” Judge Silvia Carreño-Coll said.

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