June 19, 2013
In the Media
Did Prosecutors Blunder in Transfer of Ex-Guatemalan
By Jacob Gershman
The Wall Street Journal
June 17, 2013
Several weeks ago, federal prosecutors in Manhattan
announced that after a long extradition fight, the U.S.
had apprehended a former president of Guatemala, Alfonso Portillo,
who is accused of using American bank accounts to launder money.
But before his arraignment in Manhattan in late May, Mr.
reportedly was first flown to Teterboro Airport in New
“This weekend sojourn in New Jersey may prove to be a procedural
misstep with huge consequences,” writes Michael S. Weinstock, a
former New York City prosecutor who worked as a maritime attorney
in the criminal defense division of Chalos O’Connor LLP and
is not involved in the case.
Lawyers for Mr. Portillo, who entered a plea of not guilty,
declined to comment on the venue question raised by the article.
Mr. Portillo served as president of Guatemala from 2000 to
Mr. Weinstock, who wrote about the Portillo matter in a draft
paper submitted to St John’s Journal of International and
Comparative Law, writes that the “proper venue for this matter lies
in the District of New Jersey,” not the Southern District of New