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Judge suspends 5 Honduran lawmakers accused of corruption

Judge suspends 5 Honduran lawmakers accused of corruption

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — A Honduran judge has suspended five lawmakers accused of diverting public funds, but refused prosecutors' request that they be held pending trial.

All five members of Congress declined to make statements during their initial appearances in court on Thursday.

Honduran prosecutors and the Organization of American States' anti-corruption mission announced the case against the politicians earlier this month.

According to the investigation, the deputies allegedly requested the funds for a nonprofit organization, which cut checks to them immediately after receiving the money. The public projects never materialized, but banking records show the lawmakers deposited the checks in personal accounts or cashed them.

The judge barred them from leaving the country or having contact with their congressional colleagues.