Business chamber: No to impunity

493Views 0Comments Posted 29/10/2017

PANAMA’S Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture has added its voice to the growing outcry over impunity arising from a judge’s decision to effectively stall investigations into high profile figures suspected of accepting bribes from the Odebrecht construction company,
Odebrecht has received billions of dollars in contracts from successive governments, including the present administration and Panama City.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Oct.29 the Chamber calls on the Public Prosecutor's Office to look for the mechanisms, within the legal framework and respecting due process, so that "justice is done" in the Odebrecht case.
"No to impunity. We will not tolerate it, excuses are over” said the statement.
According to the organization, the Nation was left shocked again by Judicial organ failure in the Odebrecht case and the statements of Attorney General Kenia Porcell, which has generated "many doubts" about the management that has been given to investigations and processes of high profile suspects
"This accentuates the lack of credibility in our administrators of justice," it said.
Pointing out that the country needs  that these processes be carried diligently by all the actors so that the investigations can continue their course
expeditiously and efficiently, as well as guarantee effective justice in reasonable times.
"On several occasions, we have expressed the need to build solid institutions,
transparent and independent, to be able to advance as a nation. This seems more and more distant in our country ", says the Chamber.
It is imperative,  it added t that the authorities and society work in
the reordering of the administration of justice system, through a
Constitutional reform that allows the return to the rule of law, with a Judicial OrganJthat constitutes a true counterweight and that together with the Public Ministry acts within the legal framework to get to the bottom of any wrongful acts committed, without selectivity, and administer justice for all, in an impartial and efficient manner.

Judges suitability
"In this journey towards the reconstitution of the rule of law, the suitability of those who occupy the new positions of magistrates of the Supreme Court is of great importance not only from the point of view of training and trajectory but selecting for these positions, men and women of proven ethical and moral values.
“We demand the Executive and the National Assembly exercise their Constitutional role to guarantee the above, "it added.
This weekend, political and civil society sectors said that there is an intention
to prevent the truth coming out about the beneficiaries of bribes paid by Odebrecht.
The warning arose from the Public Ministry's announcement that 6 of the 13 agreements managed by the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office are in danger, after the ruling last Wednesday of Criminal Substitute Judge, Lania Batista, who interrupted the investigation and ordered the prosecutor to submit his files, without allowing time to complete the investigation.

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