A former government insider and director of Special Projects for the Office of the First Lady during the administration of Martin Torrijos (2004-2009) was in court on Monday facing embezzlement charges.
Mingthoy Giro, was administrator of Parque Omar when a group of bronze statues “Games of Yesteryear” disappeared from storage
Second Criminal Court Anti corruption prosecutor Lizzette Chevalier said Giro was culpable and not a good custodial parent. Giro and seven others were accused of theft and embezzlement after the disappearance of the bronze statues.
Judge Johan Barrios adjourned the case for 30 days to await his decision. If found guilty Mingthoy Giro, who was once the contraversial head of Panama Carnival, could face between 1-3 years imprisonment.
Chevalier asked for the conviction of Giro saying it was she who had copies of the key for the Parque Omar deposit where the statues were stored
Chevalier also argued that although Giro said she had no police powers and no security, the defendanthad custody of the bronze statues, whose loss was reported in 2008.
Chevalier said that the evidence established that the 42 bronze figures, Valued at $250,000, were cut before being removed and then melted. As statues their value had been estimated at $1.5 million.
She also called called for the conviction for theft and breach of trust of Jaime Tapia, Eric Murillo and Rolando Vasquez, park maintenance employees, Marcos Aparicio, Courier Office of the First Lady and for and Maximum Hector del Cid Moro.
Acquital was requested for Domingo Varela, former director of Heritage of the National Culture Institute(INAC) based on the fact that the custody of the statues was not his responsibility when they were stolen.
Juan Garcia, attorney for Giro, claimed the custody and security of the entire park was the responsibility of the Institutional Protection Service (SPI) and the security forces.