A former Mexican state governor wanted on charges of ties to drug trafficking plans to remain in hiding until he is assured that his "guarantees and rights" will be respected, attorneys representing Tomas Yarrington said here Friday.

The man who governed the northern state of Tamaulipas from 1999-2004 is "in a secret place," one of the lawyers said.

"Tomas Yarrington will appear before the authorities at the appropriate moment, when this defense (team) considers it prudent," attorney Marco Tulio told a press conference at a Mexico City hotel.

The former governor initially went underground because he was convinced he would not receive genuine due process from the administration of President Felipe Calderon, whose term ended Nov. 30, Tulio said.

Describing Calderon's attorney general, Marisela Morales, as unqualified for the post and "servile to foreign interests," Tulio hailed new AG Murillo Karam's promise to act strictly in accord with the law.

Another member of Yarrington's legal team, Everardo Cabrera, said he and his colleagues have filed court motions to quash the warrant for Yarrington's arrest and lift the embargo on his assets.

The erstwhile governor is unlikely to come forward as long as the arrest warrant stands, Cabrera said, while Tulio insisted that Yarrington "will not be a hostage" of the AG's office.

U.S. federal prosecutors on May 22 filed forfeiture cases involving two properties in Texas - which borders Tamaulipas - they said Yarrington purchased via front men using bribes from drug cartels.

The former governor, however, says he does not own the Texas properties targeted in the forfeiture cases.

In a radio interview last June, Yarrington said the allegations against him were part of an effort to discredit the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, ahead of Mexico's July 1 presidential election.

Even so, the PRI, which governed Mexico without interruption from 1929-2000, won the presidential contest and ended 12 years of rule by the rightist National Action Party. EFE