EFEGuatemala City

Guatemala's former president, Otto Perez Molina, will be placed on trial for his alleged involvement in the "La Linea" customs corruption network, a scandal which forced him to resign last week and turn himself over to the judiciary, the judge hearing the case announced Tuesday.

At a court hearing, Judge Miguel Angel Galvez said that it was "prudent" to order a trial be set for Perez Molina because there is "sufficient reasonable evidence" establishing his links with the corruption network.

After making the announcement, the judge called a recess and, later, he should announce whether he will order that Perez Molina remain in protective custody, which he had ordered initially last Thursday to guarantee that court proceedings move forward with no break and, he said, to safeguard the life of the accused.

The Attorney General's Office last week indicted the former president for the crimes of illicit association, customs fraud and bribery, and asked that he be placed on trial.

Now the AG's Office has asked the judge to order Perez Molina held in jail, claiming that he constitutes a flight risk.

The AG's Office, with the backing of the CICIG international commission against impunity, says that Perez Molina is one of the leaders of the "La Linea" network that was broken up last April.

Already being held in protective custody is former Vice President Roxana Baldetti, who resigned her office in May, and another 27 people including various government officials.

The network, which was operated by fugitive Juan Carlos Monzon, Baldetti's former private secretary, is said to have taken in at least 29 million quetzales ($3.7 million) in bribes for customs fraud, according to prosecutors.