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Mexico official retracts Salinas graft accusations

Mexico's transportation secretary says he had no proof when he accused former President Carlos Salinas of stealing half the money in a secret government fund.

world Updated: Feb 13, 2009 09:51 IST

Mexico's transportation secretary says he had no proof when he accused former President Carlos Salinas of stealing half the money in a secret government fund.

Luis Tellez acknowledges making the accusations during a dinner conversation recorded without his knowledge. But he says he should never have made the remarks because he has no evidence of corruption during the 1988-1994 Salinas presidency.

Tellez held high-level positions in the Treasury and Agricultural Departments under Salinas. Some opposition lawmakers say the recorded remarks indicate Tellez covered up corruption, and at least one senator is calling for his resignation.

Tellez made the comments in 2006. A Mexican radio station aired the recording Thursday.