Buck stops here president revokes police chief move

Cortizo, not consulted

1,506Views 0Comments Posted 14/08/2019

After an outcry from media, prosecutors and civil groups President, Laurentino Cortizo, assured the media on Wednesday, August 14  that "the protected witness will stay where he is."

The comment followed statements given on Tuesday, August 13 by Ricaurte González, prosecutor against Organized Crime, who expressed concern about the physical integrity of the protected witness in the wiretapping trial of Ricardo  Martinelli, after learning that the National Police had plans to repatriate him.

Cortizo said that he is committed to ensuring that the State guarantees security, not only to this witness , but to any other protected witness in present or future cases.

The protected witness is serving as a police attaché before the Council of Delegates of the Inter-American Defense Board of the Organization of American States (OAS), in Washington. US.

After a trial court on Friday August  found Martinelli not guilty of the accusation made for political and peculated espionage, the director of the National Police, Jorge Miranda , requested the return of the protected witness.

In an act to deliver property titles organized by the National Land Administration Authority (Anati) in December 24, on Wednesday  Cortizo reiterated that "the protected witness will continue to be protected."

"I have meetings with the Security Council once a week and I have once a week, too, meetings with the Public Force, and that issue was not addressed," he said.

"This has not been approved by the President. In the end, the last decision is made by the President of the Republic ... I do not know where [the witness] is, but where he can be calm," he added.

The official, who was an agent of the National Security Council in the Martinelli government (2009-2014), offered details of how the interception of communications of at least 150 people was made, without judicial authorization.

In the oral trial of Martinelli, the witness voluntarily stripped himself of his anonymity and testified on the stand, under oath. Everyone present knows his identity, but the judges forbade public disclosure or discussion on the subject, outside the courtroom.

Meanwhile calls are growing for the firing of police chief  Miranda.