VP regrets judge endorsement as anger swells

814Views 1Comments Posted 02/09/2017

WHILE former Security Minister    José Raúl Mulino is lauding a Supreme Court decision that he claims “clears his name”  there is a groundswell of demand for the resignations of the judge who made the ruling and those who supported her.

[caption id="attachment_75415" align="alignleft" width="337"] Russo,De Leon and Diaz[/caption]

The targets of the anger of organized civil society and independent observers are Angela Russo,   and seven judges, who upheld the ruling which halted the judicial process for alleged irregularities in the $125 million purchase of 19 radars from the scandal ridden Italian conglomerate, Finmeccanica during the last government. The judgment was largely based on the length of time spent on  the complex investigation,

Ex comptroller Alvin Weeden, told La Prensa the magistrates must resign because they have "Acted outside the law and contrary to the oath they made in the National Assembly to defend the Constitution.

"What they did was to violate the Constitution and protect corruption … They ended up with evidence of a record to protect offenders, and that is not the role of the Court, "he warned.

Annette Planells, of the Independent Movement, (Movin) said that if the judges  are unwilling to fulfill their mission to resolve disputes objectively, expeditiously and independently ", always looking for the search for justice," they must renounce."

[caption id="attachment_75417" align="alignright" width="300"] Fabrega, Ortega, Zamorano[/caption]

Vice president and Chancellor, Isabel Saint  Malo de Alvarado, wrote on Twitter that she regretted her recommendation of Russo to President Juan Carlos Varela when he was choosing magistrates.

Olga de Obaldía, director of the Panama chapter Transparency International, chapter of Panama said:

"The ruling is a bad precedent  of impunity for everything that comes behind and creates a precedent of impunity,"

Juan Diego Vásquez, a member of the Youth Network for Transparency, opined that Russo "should reflect on her  permanence in the Court and the message she sends to society with each judgment (...) Is she not very knowledgeable about the subject or does her criterion respond to interests? "he asked himself.

Freddy Pitt, of  Together We Decide,  said: "It is shameful and outrageous" that administrators of justice use dilatory measures to resolve high profile cases. "There is too much evidence [and] condemnation in Italy for this corruption plot, and it is unjustifiable that in Panama what is ruling is impunity. " He said that, "from day one, many members of civil society opposed Russo’s  appointment, precisely because of her lack of independence and character to deal with such delicate cases. Time has proved us right," reports La Prensa

Ex- comptroller  Carlos Vallarino said that the ruling is totally absurd, and it opens the door to impunity for cases that are still before the courts.

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