Sweetheart deal beneficiary appeals new probe

MAURICIO Cort tries to dodge another bullet

884Views 1Comments Posted 10/07/2019

A  convivted man whose testimony helped prosecutors link a  former Minister and the sons of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli and Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares to Odebrecht bribes is trying to shut down another corruption investigation.

Mauricio Cort, investigated for alleged money laundering to the detriment of the Ministry of Public Works, filed an appeal for guarantees before the full Supreme Court of Justice seeking  to cancel the investigation by the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor for alleged payment of bribes through the company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas ( FCC ), contractor of section II of the Corredor-Vía Brasil project.  

The work, awarded in the government of Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) for $174.5 million, ended up costing $216.2 million.  

 Time lines
The investigation began April 27, 2017, based on an audit of the Office of the Comptroller. Since June 20, 2019 the case is in reserve.

It is up to Judge Hernán De León to decide whether or not to admit the appeal

In the case, the former Minister of Public Works (MOP )Federico Pepe Suárez is linked for alleged crimes against public administration along with the ex- MOP Director of Contracts Jorge Churro Ruiz, and his assistant Melina Cano. 

Suárez and  Cano are prevented from leaving the country, and Churro Ruiz is in custody.  

Judicial sources say that the Public Ministry kept the process in reserve based on Article 4 of Law 121 of 2013, which applies to investigations related to organized crime. The law allows the prosecution to protect sensitive information received from the investigation, with the purpose of not obstructing the investigations that are being carried out, as well as avoiding the possible escape of those linked to the process.

Sweetheart deal Mauricio Cort is one of those investigated bribes paid by Odebrecht, he agreed on a collaboration agreement and another on a  penalty with the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office..

The court imposed a sentence of 48 months in prisonwhich was replaced by a fine of 200 days, at a rate of $250 per day, for a total of$ 50,000, which he had to pay in six months. He was also required to return $1.6 million in six months.

Comments 1


a sentence of 48 months, approximately 1440 days, is replaced by a fine based on a 200 day sentence? that's an 86% reduction. yet another windfall for someone who knowingly, willingly, planned and executed robbery of public funds. i think all the poor people in jail for trying to hustle a buck by at least buying and selling a commodity rather than conspiring to, and stealing from others, should get the same discount.

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