GUATEMALA CITY — President Jimmy Morales chose a replacement Thursday for chief prosecutor Thelma Aldana, whose investigations earned her renown as an anti-corruption crusader and netted a number of high-level figures including a former president.
Morales' office announced in a statement that Maria Consuelo Porras Argueta will take over from Aldana on May 16, after Aldana's four-year term ends.
It said that Porras is qualified and will "push a policy of objective, impartial and independent criminal prosecution."
"We will be respectful of the law and very objective," Porras said in an impromptu news conference.
She will be responsible for a number of ongoing cases including two against Morales on suspicion of illicit electoral financing and receiving some $61,000 in bonuses from the army. There is also a pending case against his son and brother for purported fraud and money laundering.
Morales has denied any wrongdoing.
Porras also said she would work with a U.N.-sponsored commission that has been crucial in pressing graft investigations in the country, as well as its head, Ivan Velasquez, who has been at odds with Morales due to his attempts to investigate the president along with the prosecutor's office under Aldana.
The work of Velasquez and the commission, known as Cicig, "has been very important for the country," Porras said.
Porras, 64, is a lawyer with more than 30 years in the profession and currently an alternate magistrate for the Constitutional Court.
Under Guatemalan law the president selects the chief prosecutor from a list of six candidates nominated by a commission made up of the Supreme Court president and law school deans.
One of numerous probes under Aldana led to the resignation of then-President Otto Perez Molina and his vice president, both of whom are behind bars. They have also denied wrongdoing.