Guatemala's ex-president to find out later if going to trial

Guatemalan former president Otto Perez leaves the Supreme Court in Guatemala City on March 28, 2016 after the judge suspended the hearing in which he was to decide on whether a trial against Perez would take place (AFP Photo/Johan Ordonez) (AFP)

Guatemala City (AFP) - Guatemala's former president Otto Perez will find out at a later date if he is going to trial on corruption charges after a judge suspended a decision that was to be handed down on Monday.

The judge, Miguel Angel Galvez, said a defense motion had to be resolved before it could be announced whether a trial would take place.

Perez and former vice president Roxana Baldetti both lost their jobs last year over allegations that they were part of a ring of officials who took bribes to allow companies to import goods without paying import taxes.

Both remain in custody pending the trial decision and were in court on Monday.

Perez reiterated his innocence in the allegations, which were made public by a UN-backed body called the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).

Perez accused the CICIG of being a "tool" of the United States, which he claimed brought about his downfall.

Baldetti arrived an hour late because of what her lawyers said were health problems. The judge ordered she undergo a medical examination.

Guatemala's new president, Jimmy Morales, a former television comedian, won office in October elections on promises of cracking down on corruption.