Court flip-flop gave bribery case impunity

625Views 6Comments Posted 15/09/2017

A GROUP of Panama opinion leaders have  denounced a ruling handed down by the Supreme Court  which  let  suspects off the hook because time had run out for the investigation.

On April 6  the Court declared null part of the investigation of   former Minister of Security , José Raúl Mulino and Alejandro Garuz, for alleged peculation in the purchase of radars in 2010.

In a public statement, the intellectuals said that the ruling is diametrically opposed to a ruling issued on March 3, 2016, in which the Court concluded that exceeding exceeded the period for investigating does not invalidate the case.

“If the Courts of Justice continue with the practice of denying  prosecutors requests  to extend the period of investigation in cases  …  the final result of such a practice will be none other than that of impunity".

said   a "public statement" by the  group of including constitutionalists, businessmen, doctors and diplomats, among others, who agreed with the words of José Ugaz, President of Transparency International, in expressing his "support and solidarity with the Attorney General [KeniaPorcell] and all the courageous anticorruption prosecutors that work in the Public Ministry ".

The signatories of the "public statement question the" diametrically opposed view "of the  nine judges of the Court in a signed judgment of March 3, 2016 on sanctions when prosecutors are overdue in the times

"It is obvious, then, that after that decision  prosecutors acting under the umbrella of the  Court, they could not understand that their investigation would be void " the statement said.

They indicate that in the  April 6,  decision that annulled part of the process of Jose Raul Mulino for presumed peculation in the purchase of 19 radars from Selex, "the same Court, with the signatures of the same magistrates, except for the  magistrate Jerónimo Mejía [who eluded his legal obligation to fail] adopted a criterion diametrically opposed, saying that all the actions that the prosecution has carried out after the deadline to investigate were absolutely nil. "

"We sincerely do not believe that the Court ignores the grave consequences of its

strange decision. The consequences were foreseeable: the acquittal of all people involved in bribes, overcharges, and other crimes diligently investigated by the Public Ministry. We share the conviction that Panamanian society will not be able to digest the  serious consequences, "said the statement signed by: Carlos Bolivar Pedreschi, Mario Galindo, Juan Planells, Fernando Berguido, Guillermo Sánchez Borbón, Luis Moreno, I. Roberto Eisenmann, Alfredo Castillero Calvo, Ricardo Alberto Arias, Ramón Ricardo Arias, José Chen Barría, Juan Antonio Tejada, Rodrigo Eisenmann, Carlos Lucas Lopez, Fernando Aparicio, Jaime Arias, Olimpo Sáez, Lisímaco López, Daniel Pichel, Aurelio Barría, Tomás Herrera, Octavio Del Moral and Julio Linares.