Mauricio Funes.jpg
Former El Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes
Photograph: Photo by MINEX GUATEMALA, used under CC BY-ND

Nicaragua on Tuesday granted political asylum to former El Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes, who is under investigation in his home country for corruption.

Funes, who was president of El Salvador from 2009-14, has asserted that his life is in danger.

"I have reason to believe that the extreme right has an attack plan against me," Funes said on Twitter. "Therefore I asked for asylum."

The Nicaraguan government said the grant of asylum also applies to Funes' family.

In May, a Salvadoran court allowed a case of corruption to proceed against Funes, his wife Vanda Pignato and son Diego Funes Canas. The state attorney general's office said the case centres on some 728,000 dollars of income that the couple had not properly accounted for.

Funes said he would stand trial and prove his innocence.

The civil case against the three family members originated with an investigation by the anti-corruption division of the Supreme Court.

Authorities recently searched several the offices and apartments of Funes and one of his close associates in El Salvador.

Funes, a former journalist, was the first leftist president in the Central American country after the 1982-92 civil war.

The newspaper La Prensa said he was staying in the Nicaraguan capital Managua. Funes said on Twitter that he has been in Nicaragua on businesss for more than three months.

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