Jailed Mexican governor under 24-hour watch

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-20 06:35:01|Editor: yan
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MEXICO CITY, July 19 (Xinhua) -- A former Mexican governor in jail on corruption charges is being watched round-the-clock to prevent his escape, a local official said on Wednesday.

The ex-governor of the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, Javier Duarte, was extradited on Monday from Guatemala, where he was in hiding, and taken to a penitentiary in northern Mexico City.

According to Mexico City's government secretary, Patricia Mercado, in Duarte's cell, "there is a surveillance camera, but above all there is a guard on watch ... he is permanently close to him every 24 hours in the cell," Mercado said in an interview with Grupo Formula news network.

"He is under the same conditions as the other inmates, but with special care," Mercado added.

The scandal has gripped Mexican society, which is following the case closely to see whether the governor (2010 to 2016) accused of stealing millions in public funds and leaving the state penniless will be held accountable or allowed to evade justice.

On Tuesday, Duarte met with his lawyer and had a "family visit," said Mercado, without giving further details.

Mexico's Attorney General's Office (PGR) has requested Duarte be admitted to a federal prison hospital in the neighboring state of Morelos, because he suffers from hypertension, fatty liver and anxiety.

Should a federal judge decide there is enough evidence against him to go to trial, Duarte is expected to be housed at a federal facility.

Mexico is known for its high-profile prison escapes, with the notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, twice breaking out of high-security facilities here, before being extradited to the United States to face drug trafficking charges.