The head of the Supreme Court in Honduras has ordered six military commanders to stay in the country as they face trial over the ousting of President Manuel Zelaya last June. Proceedings are scheduled to begin on Jan. 21, BBC News reports.
The military chiefs are being charged with abuse of power in connection with Zelaya’s forced exile from the country. Under the Honduran constitution, it is illegal to forcibly remove Honduran citizens from the country.
Zelaya battled with congress, the military and the courts over his desire to change the constitution. After being forced out of office and banned from Honduras, Zelaya snuck back into the country last September and remains at the Brazilian embassy.
Armed forces chief of staff General Romeo Vasquez and other members of the military high command appeared at the Supreme Court on Thursday to hear the charges against them. In addition to staying in the country, they must also report periodically to the court authorities.
"We will concentrate on showing the facts and they want to face this process to prove the charges are baseless," defense lawyer Juan Carlos Sanchez told the Associated Press.
President-elect Porfirio Lobo, who is due to take office on Jan. 27, says he supports granting amnesty to both Zelaya and those involved in his removal.