The Attorney General of Baja Calfornia, Rommel Moreno Manjarrez, in a press conference Tuesday afternoon, has accused the former mayor of Tijuana, Jorge Hank Rhon, of the murder of the common law wife of his son Mario Hank Kraus. María Angélica Muñoz Cervantes, 24-years old, was murdered in August 2009.
The prosecutor has said he has a witness who has accused Hank Rhon of ordering him to commit the murder.
This murder has been added to the two others that were uncovered when guns recovered in Hank Rhon’s home were linked to other murders in Tijuana. Minutes after announcing the new charges against Hank Rhon, he was released from custody by a judge who cited weak evidence.
|Jorge Hank Rhon (on the right)
Former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, who was arrested last June 4 on charges of possession of illegal weapons, was ordered released from prison early this morning by a federal judge. The judge ruled there was lack of evidence to hold Hank, presumably as she has disallowed the evidence of the search of his home where 88 weapons were found.
However, Hank never made it out of the jailhouse door. The Baja California Attorney General immediately detained Hank for investigation of murder. Two of the weapons found at his home were linked to the murder of two men in Tijuana. Hank is currently at the offices of the Attorney General in Playas de Tijuana. Hours before Hank’s release by the federal judge, Fulano predicted he would be immediately rearrested.
|Click on image to enlarge.
UPDATE AT 9:25am
It is now being reported that the state Attorney General has charged Jorge Hank Rhon with murder and he is being arraigned.
UPDATE AT 12:15pm
Jorge Hank Rhon was arraigned for a period of 40 days under state of Baja California charges of possessing weapons linked to two murders. The other eight persons who were arrested with him were released.
In Tijuana today, the judge in charge of the case against former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon has ruled that his arrest and detention were legal, and did not violate his civil rights. This ruling was based upon the fact that two of Hank’s body guards confessed that they had illegal high caliber weapons hidden at the Hank residence, and Hank was therefore arrested “en flagrancia” (in the act of breaking the law).
This is not a finding of guilt in the criminal case against him, only a finding that his arrest and detention was legal.
Link to article in Spanish.
During Saturday, the judge made a tour of the Hank residence, along with the prosecution and defense lawyers. Fernando Benitez, Hank’s defense attorney, said the case is not affected by the fact that two of the guns recovered have been found to be related to murders, since the guns do not belong to Hank. He also said the fact that two of the weapons had Jorge Hank Rhon’s name engraved on them does not mean he owns them. The defense attorney also noted that the weapons listed are very old, to which the judge annoyingly said “this is your defense? These arms are not from the Revolution nor from the Conquistadors. I thought you would have a stronger defense. Something with some meat on it.”
Unofficial reports issued late Tuesday night are that former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon will be jailed and tried for violations of Mexican federal firearms laws. He is to be returned to an unspecified prison in Baja California, along with the ten other men arrested with him, and the trial will occur in federal district court in Baja California.
Link to article in Spanish.