Not one corrupt government official convicted during Medina’s first term
Santo Domingo.- Not one conviction has been handed down against a corrupt government official during president Danilo Medina’s first term in office despite the many cases that go to trial, while those that come to light have drawn wide rebuke, made newspaper headlines and spurred nationwide protests.
Among the most questioned cases figure that of ruling party (PLD) senator Felix Bautista, as the Supreme Court decided to drop the charges including alleged kickbacks of more than RD$25 billion, which represent the Justice Ministry’s failures when prosecuting government officials.
The trial against Bautista started in April, 2012 and lasted until October 21 last year, when the Supreme Court upheld the ruling to acquit the lawmaker from San Juan Province. He was charged with embezzlement as head of the State Supervising Engineers Office (OISOE).
In similar cases figured former Public Works minister Victor Diaz Rúa (2007-2012) and National Assets (BN) director Elias Wessin Chavez (2007-2012), with no convictions on both
The clash in June between National District prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso and Anticorruption (Pepca) prosecutor Laura Guerrero reveals a lack of coordination within the Justice Ministry, which further hobbles the fight against government corruption.
Reynoso said she regrets that cases involving the powerful would casue Pepca “amnesia” to which Guerrero countered by accusing Reynoso of revealing to the press evidence against former OISOE director Miguel Pimentel Kareh, without providing it to the Pepca.
Another example of dysfunctional prosecution in Bautista’s case was voiced by Supreme Court justice Miriam German Brito, who described as “sloppy and imprecise” the Justice Ministry’s actions. “I know the performance of a sector of the Justice Ministry which acts as if its theory of the case “were the word of God.”
Sep 29, 2016
Category: DR News |