FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2005, file photo, El Salvador’s First Lady Ana Ligia Mixco de Saca attends a session of XIII First Ladies Conference in Asuncion. The former first lady who had confessed her responsibility in the laundering of 25 million dollars taken from public funds, retracted her confession when prosecutors demanded on Monday, May 13, 2019, that she return 17.3 million dollars of the missing money. (Jorge Saenz, File/Associated Press)

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — A former El Salvador first lady has pulled out of a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to corruption charges after they demanded she return $17.3 million in allegedly ill-gotten gains.

Ana Ligia de Saca’s deal would have given her an abbreviated legal process and community service instead of three years in prison, in exchange for confessing her role in laundering $25 million in public money.

Prosecutor German Arriaza said Monday that Ligia’s lawyers argued the agreement didn’t include returning the money.

Defense attorney Miguel Flores confirms the deal was scrapped and says he is confident Ligia can prove her innocence.

Her husband, Tony Saca, was El Salvador’s president in 2004-2009. He is serving a 10-year sentence for diverting $300 million in public funds to his companies and others.

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