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Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:25 PM

Honduras Ousts Supreme Court Justices as Lobo Warns of ’09 Coup

Honduras Ousts Supreme Court Justices as Lobo Warns of ’09 Coup
By Adam Williams - Dec 12, 2012 4:56 PM CT.

The Honduran Congress voted to remove four of the Central American country’s 15 Supreme Court justices after they rejected President Porfirio Lobo’s bid to require that police undergo lie detector tests.

Ninety-seven of the 128 lawmakers present voted to oust the justices today in a legislative session that ended around 4 a.m., Elvin Mendoza, a spokesman for Congress, said in a phone interview from Tegucigalpa. The vote took place while members of the military stood outside the congressional building throughout the night, Mendoza said.

The move highlighted the struggles between the central government, judiciary and armed forces three years after then- President Manuel Zelaya was rounded up during the night and put on a military plane out of the country. The chief of the armed forces, Rene Osorio Canales, pledged today that he would “maintain permanent loyalty to the three branches of the government,” according to a statement from the presidency.

“It is being called a judicial coup,” said Adrienne Pine, an assistant professor at American University in Washington who has studied Honduras for 15 years, in a phone interview.


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