Prosecutor asks "exemplary" sentences for 14  in Blue Apple trial

Federico Suarez / Jimmy Ford

797Views 0Comments Posted 01/09/2023


After eight hours of allegations, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor requested for conviction and the application of"exemplary" sentences for 14 people for crimes ranging from money laundering, corruption of officials, and the illegal association to commit crimes, in the Blue Apple trial.

Prosecutor Edwin Juárez asked criminal judge Baloisa Marquínez for a verdict condemning Federico Pepe Suárez and Jaime Ford, who served as heads of the Ministry of Public Works between 2009 and 2014, for having requested "political aid" (bribes) from state contractor companies. in exchange for facilities for the execution and collection of infrastructure projects.

In the case of Suárez, the Prosecutor assured that he maintained commercial relations with Felipe Lechter, who agreed to a collaboration agreement and accepted having been a recipient of money from Blue Apple, which ended up benefiting Suárez.

Lechter acknowledged that he received two checks for $10 million from Blue Apple.

The prosecutor said the funds came from the corporate structure created by Federico Barrios , who allied with the former head of MOP contract administration, Jorge Churro Ruiz, to develop a corporate structure with the purpose of channeling funds from the payments of the companies that were benefited with State contracts. He explained that Suárez used contracts from his business group to channel money from crimes against the public administration and that they were moved through various companies, including Blue Apple.

He said that the former minister channeled money from Blue Apple to purchase equipment for the El Síndigo hydroelectric project, which was being developed in the province of Chiriquí. He alleged that this was supported by Teodoro Garrido (RIP) and Federico Barrios.

He said that to carry out this operation he also had the collaboration of Churro Ruiz and his assistant at the MOP, Melina Cano.

Ruiz became a collaborator of the prosecution and Cano, like Suárez, is accused.

He stressed that Cano, for whom the prosecutor also requested a conviction, participated directly in the processing of the documents for the El Síndigo project.

The statements of businessmen Eduardo Di Bello, Julián París, and Jorge Espino, whose companies obtained contracts with the State, were determining factors in the imputation of Jaime Ford.

Real estate purchases were made in the district of San Francisco, Casco Viejo, and in the province of Panama Oeste. The intermediary of these transactions was Jorge Espino, who also has a penalty agreement with the prosecution.

Judge Marquínez was asked for an acquittal verdict in favor of Silvia Rojas and Marcelino Martínez. Both participated in the creation of limited companies used to move money to Blue Apple. According to the prosecution, Rojas and Martínez did not know why these companies were created and did not receive any benefits or benefits from those acts.

The day before, Barrios had declared that Silvia Rojas was the nanny of his children and it was he who asked for the ID, to use her name and other personal information to create the companies, in exchange for "a couple of dollars." He declared that Rojas was very humble and had little education, so it was very difficult for her to understand the whole plot.