Lawmaker involved in girl death has immunity

Mario Lazarus, parliamentary immunity
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THE PANAMA LAWMAKER  who has admitted that he is involved in the running over of a 14-year-old girl who died after being hit  near  Colon,  and who, according to reports, left the scene is immune from prosecution by the Public Ministry

The minor died in Hospital del Nino

Deputy Mario Lazaruz, of the opposition Democratic Change Party (CD), said in a tweet from his personal account: “I was involved in an unfortunate transit incident, on the Boyd Roosevelt road, in the Bella Vista corregimiento, where a minor lost her life.

“We have made ourselves available to the family to provide all the necessary support, as well as before the competent authority,” said Lazaruz, who as a parliamentarian can only be prosecuted by the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ).

According to local press reports, the car that ran over the child fled but later was retained by the police. The Public Ministry (MP) said  that the Regional Prosecutor of Colón knew the case, but that “lacking competence, legal and constitutional competence  never ordered any apprehension of the deputy.” Reports El Siglo.

The MP  added that the Prosecutor’s Office of Colón “therefore did not order freedom or disengagement, and  the aforementioned (parliamentarian) was never available to the Public Ministry.”

The Office of the Prosecutor “proceeded to prevent the violation of rights and guarantees, and submitted the file of the fact, for the alleged commission of the crime Against Life and Personal Integrity to the Plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice, for that entity to continue the investigations and dispose what corresponds in law, “said the MP.

By constitutional provision, the deputies of the National Assembly (can only be investigated and prosecuted by magistrates of the Supreme Court).

The National Assembly, in turn, is the only entity with jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute the judges of the Supreme Court, which is widely regarded as a cosy deal allowing members of both entities to skirt justice.

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