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Arrests made in Odebrecht case

The Dominican Republic’s Attorney General’s Office announced arrest warrants have been issued related to the Odebrecht bribery scandal that embroiled officials in the Dominican Republic after Odebrecht admitted in a New York City court in December 2016 to having paid US$92 million in bribes to obtain contract work in the country from 2001 to 2014. Ten persons would be arrested in the early morning of 29 May 2017, have privileged jurisdiction because they are legislators, and a fourth, is abroad.

In a press conference called in the morning of Monday, 29 May 2017, Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez said he has requested 18 months preventive custody for those detained in the case. Rodriguez has also stated that the case be declared complex, which means this time limit can be increased while awaiting trial. Rodríguez says the list based on information received from Brazil of those related to the bribes scandal is complete: “These are all and all are here.” More arrests are expected, nevertheless, as the case unfolds.

Those arrested in connection with the Odebrecht bribe scandal are facing a range of charges including corruption, money laundering, accepting bribes, criminal association, and false declaration of assets. The punishment for such crimes ranges from 10 to 20 years in prison.

Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez has asked the National Congress to dispense with parliamentary immunity for those senators and deputies who have arrest warrants against them after being linked to the Odebrecht bribery case. These are PLD senators Tommy Galán (San Cristóbal) and Julio César Valentín (Santiago), and PRM deputy, Alfredo Pacheco (National District).

Former National District prosecutor and Al País presidential candidate, Guillermo Moreno, observed that key persons are missing from the list. He mentioned: president of the Senate Reynaldo Pared Pérez, senator Cristina Lizardo, former president of the Chamber of Deputies Abel Martínez, executive vice president of the CDEEE Rubén Jiménez Bichara and Minister of Public Works Gonzalo Castillo, indicating these are part of the faction in the PLD that backs President Danilo Medina. “In a serious and responsible investigation, the names that were indicated in the Brazilian and US files, should have been but the tip of the iceberg, leaving up to the Dominican prosecutors investigate and follow the trail of the bribes and overpricing to arrive at the beneficiaries that are not in the Brazilian or US files,” observes Moreno.

Speaking for the Green March Movement against impunity, Estarlin Montero, group spokesman said that the list is not complete. “Dominicans are not fools. We know the list is not complete. Those are not the only persons involved in the case. Definitely it is a matter of great concern that the authorities inform the public the entire truth,” he stated.

The following people were ordered under arrest by judge Francisco Ortega Polanco in connection with the case (from El Día and Diario Libre summaries):

Minister of Industry and Commerce Juan Temístocles Montás Domínguez: He was the manager of the Public Electricity Corporation (CDE today CDEEE) from 1996-1998. He was Technical Secretary of the Presidency from 2004-2007, and Minister of Economy from 2010-2016 under the Leonel Fernández presidency. He was named Minister of Industry and Commerce in 2016. He aspired to be the PLD presidential candidate in the 2016 election.

Porfirio Andrés Bautista: Former president of the Senate (2001-2006) for the PRD. Senator from 1994-2010 for the PRD. Actual president of the PRM opposition party.

Bernardo Antonio Castellanos:  Former executive of the EgeHID, the governmental hydroelectric generating company. At the EgeHID he was director of hydroelectric projects from 2000-2004 during the Hipólito Mejía presidency. He was president of the Energy Commission of the PRD. He joined the PRM group when the PRD-PRM split. He has been critical of the Punta Catalina thermoelectric generation company built by the Medina administration. He is abroad in Panama.

César Domingo Sánchez Torres, a former executive vice president of the Public Electricity Corporation (CDE today CDEEE) from 2000-2002 during the Hipólito Mejía administration. He would become the first executive vice president of the Public Electricity Corporation, when named CDEEE from 2002-2004. Sanchez Torres was named in 2017 a member of the presidential commission to investigate the Punta Catalina Thermoelectric generation plant after claims of corruption and overpricing.

Ramón Radhamés Segura: Administrator of the Public Electricity Corporation (CDE) from 1998-2000 during the Leonel Fernández administration and again from 2004-2009 under the Leonel Fernández administration. He has aspired to be the PLD presidential candidate.

Conrado Pittaluga Arzeno:  Lawyer, representative of the New Port Consulting Ltd. Known to have been the notary public in Odebrecht contracts signed by then Minister of Public Works Victor Díaz Rua.

Víctor Díaz Rúa:  Director of the National Insitute of Potable Waters and Sewage from 2004-2007, Minister of Public Works from 2007-2012 all under the Leonel Fernández administration.

Businessman Ángel Rondón Rijo: Odebrecht commercial representative from 2001 to present. He has gone on record stating he received an amount similar to the US$92 million bribery money, but explained this was for services rendered to secure the contract work in the Dominican Republic. He is the owner of AAA Dominicana, a Dominican government contractor.

Juan Roberto Rodríguez, a former director of the National Institute of Potable Water and Sewage (INAPA) from 2000-2004 under the Hipólito Mejía administration.

Ruddy González:  Deputy from 2002-2016 and member of the Commission of Hacienda of the Chamber of Deputies from 2010-2016. Former spokesman for the PRD in the Chamber of Deputies.

Máximo Leonidas de Óleo Ramírez: Former manager of EgeHID from 2000-2004 under the Hipólito Mejía administration. He worked at the CDE from 1979 to 2004.

Juan Roberto Rodríguez Hernández.  Former director of INAPA from 2000-2004 under the Hipólito Mejía administration.

Julio César Valentín: Senator for PLD-Santiago since 2010, member of the Chamber of Deputies 1998-2010 where he was president of the chamber from 2006-2010.

Alfredo Pacheco: Deputy PRM-National District since 2016. Former PRD member of the Chamber of Deputies from 1994-2006, and president of the Chamber of Deputies 2003-2006.

Tommy Galán: Senator PLD-San Cristóbal since 2006, member of the Hacienda Commmission from 2006-2014 and from 2016 to date. He is the president of the Hacienda Comission of the Senate.

Rafael Genaro Suero:  Former administrator of EgeHID. Arrest pending due to an error in the processing of his case.

The individuals would be transferred to the jail facilities at the Palacio de Justicia in Ciudad Nueva.

Source: DR1, Acento

May 30, 2017

Category: DR News |

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Last updated June 24, 2017 at 11:34 PM
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