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El Salvador's ex-leader appeals corruption conviction

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San Salvador (AFP)

El Salvador's former president Mauricio Funes on Wednesday appealed his conviction for graft in the corruption-plagued Central American nation.

"Today I presented the appeal that seeks to reverse the sentence against me," Funes said on his Twitter account.

Funes lives in exile in Nicaragua where he obtained political asylum in 2016 after saying he feared for his life in El Salvador.

He was already facing the corruption allegations at the time of his exile.

In November last year a court in San Salvador found him and his son, Diego Funes, guilty of graft and ordered them to return more than $200,000 each.

Funes says that the attorney general presented no evidence that either he or his son got rich at the expense of the state.

El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are part of Central America's "Northern Triangle," which is rife with gang violence, drug trafficking and corruption.

The area is a major source of undocumented migrants heading to the United States.

Funes' predecessor as president, Elias Antonio Saca, was arrested in October 2016 with six other people in connection with the alleged theft of $246 million from state coffers.

Funes, of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, ruled from 2009 to 2014.

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