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Dead Guatemalan Lawyer Left Video Blaming President For His Death (VIDEO)

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JUAN CARLOS LLORCA | Associated Press

GUATEMALA CITY - A lawyer slain by gunmen over the weekend appears in a video tape that emerged Monday alleging that if anything happened to him it would be at the behest of Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom.

Colom's spokesman, Fernando Barrillas, issued a statement saying the government "categorically rejects any accusations made in tapes and statements being distributed to some news media."

"This reveals the intention of creating a political crisis around a case that should be investigated and processed by the courts," the statement posted on the government's Web site said.

Lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg was shot to death by unidentified assailants while riding his bicycle Sunday, the newspaper El Periodico de Guatemala said.

In the video distributed to local media, Rosenberg says: "If you are watching this message, it is because I was assassinated by President Alvaro Colom with help from Gustavo Alejos," the president's private secretary.

Former interior minister Adela de Torrebiarte, who knew Rosenberg, said he was the man on the video.

The director of El Periodico, Juan Luis Font, said the accusation was distributed to media in audio format at Rosenberg's funeral and later in the video.

Rosenberg says on the tape that officials might want to kill him because he represented businessman Khalil Musa, who was killed along with his daughter Marjorie in March.

Rosenberg alleged those killings were in retaliation for Musa's refusal to engage in acts of corruption that Colom purportedly invited him to participate in.

(This version CORRECTS date of killing to March in last graf.)

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