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Supreme Court president says judge admitted she took bribes

The president of the Supreme Court of Justice and the Judicial Branch Committee, Mariano German Mejia has revealed that suspended National District judge, Awilda Reyes Beltre, has admitted that she accepted money in return for issuing favorable decisions.

At a press conference yesterday, Monday 23 November 2015 German Mejia said that Reyes Beltre had said that she had done what she was told to do by her superiors but added in his own defense that the superiors she mentioned were nothing to do with either him or any other Judicial Branch members.

German did not say who the orders were from, and passed the ball to judge Reyes. “I believe the greatest challenge ahead for this judge, a highly qualified young woman, is that she should say from whom she received or who ordered her to accept that money,” he said.

As reported in the press, complaints have been submitted to the Supreme Court against the judge since 2012, but the disciplinary measure of suspension without wages has only just been announced.

In his defense, German said that it was the worst kind of slander to insinuate that he or any member of his family had anything to do with the actions of lower-ranking judges.

Speaking about Reyes Beltre’s actual decisions, he mentioned the return of the Cessna aircraft that had been confiscated from the president of the bankrupt Peravia Bank, Jose Luis Santoro and the US$20 million returned to Prado Universal Corporation, which built Atiemar Tower and whose president, Arturo del Tiempo, has been convicted of drug dealing in Spain.

She also released the councilor for Pedro Brand municipality, Erinson de los Santos Solis, who was under investigation on suspicion of heading a criminal organization that stole land and was allegedly behind cases of kidnapping, extortion and murder.

German commented that information about these cases has been published in various media outlets and has shaken the country, leading to him being questioned about the values and principles that should prevail the justice system.

Source: DR1, DiarioLibre

Nov 24, 2015

UPDATE: Lawyer Awilda Reyes says politics decided Pedro Brand case

Tomas Castro, president of the Dominican Lawyers’ Association and the lawyer representing suspended judge Awilda Reyes has gone public in defense of his client on radio and TV to deny accusations by Supreme Court of Justice president Mariano German who says that Reyes admitted to accepting bribes in return for issuing favorable decisions.

As reported in MetroRD today, Wednesday 25 November 2015, Castro states that his client was responding to orders from high up. Castro said the release of councilor Ericson de los Santos of the PRD, accused of links with contract killers, was part of the political agreement in which Miguel Vargas gave the votes of PRD legislators for the change of the Cosntitution to allow for the re-election of President Danilo Medina.

Others mentioned as “puppeteers” include Radhames Jimenez Pena, the former attorney general (2006-2012 under Leonel Fernandez), and the president of the Supreme Court of Justice Mariano German himself. German is the president of the Judicial Branch Council (CPJ).

In reference to the scandalous release of the Pedro Brand councilor accused of links to contract killings, Castro said that Reyes had received orders from CPJ resigning judge Arias Valera, who he says acted as a messenger for Supreme Court of Justice president Mariano German. Castro said that Arias Valera gave the instructions to judge Reyes. Castro said Arias was acting in the name of the president of the Supreme Court, but that his defendant never received direct instructions from the president of the Supreme Court because the president of the Supreme Court would not call any judge, as reported in the printed edition of MetroRD.

Castro said his defendant was just a pawn in the political chess game. “Those are political elements that are necessarily linked to the decision to release him with the agreements between the two political parties. One does not have to go to Harvard to know that,” stated Castro.

As reported in Hoy, Castro said that resigning member of the Judicial Branch Council (CPJ) Arias Valera was the representative of the first instance judges before the CPJ, “in other words, one of the individuals who when he speaks, is speaking for the boss, regardless whether the boss is the one who is saying so directly and that is why (Mariano) can say he did not issue those orders.”

Castro said that what has been said about his client would have to be defended in court.

Radhames Jimenez Pena has denied Castro’s statements. “I have not participated, neither on a personal level nor through anyone in any case that has to do with drug trafficking or asset laundering, let alone with murder,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the president of the Dominican Association Against Corruption (Adocco) Julio Cesar de la Rosa Tiburcio called for the resignation of Supreme Court of Justice president Mariano German for allowing judges to act to the detriment of Dominican institutionalism.

Awilda Reyes is also under investigation for rulings that benefitted known drug traffickers and in the case of collapsed Banco Peravia bank.

Source: DR1, Hoy

Nov 25, 2015

Category: DR News |

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Last updated December 4, 2016 at 11:02 PM
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