Dominican Republic ‘historic’ pact on Odebrecht US$92M bribes
Santo Domingo.- Jean Alain Rodriguez on Friday disclosed the details of the economic agreement reached by Odebrecht and the Dominican State, prominent attorney Eduardo Jorge Prats said he supports the results.
He praised the agreement through which the company pledged to pay US$184 million to the Dominican State. “It’s the best in the history of the country in that matter.”
He noted however that it must be validated by a judge so that the prosecution against the company can be repealed, otherwise Odebrecht and its executives could be the target of indictments.”The agreement per se is in the criminal process phase, it’s confidential and its approval and homologation have to be judicial.”
Jorge stressed that in the criminal aspect, the agreement ensures expediency in the case and doesn’t exclude from persecution the nationals or foreigners linked to the Brazilian company’s admitted bribes.
Moreover, regarding the monetary compensation, he said it’s the first time that the State will receive what is established by law, within a preferential term.
“It has been stipulated that, before arriving at half the period granted to pay the US$184 MM corresponding to double what Odebrecht admitted to having paid as a bribe, the company must have paid half of the money to the State, having to pay interest for each day of delay in payment on the established dates,” Jorge said, quoted by elcaribe.com.do.
Odebrecht to pay compensation over eight years
Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez has disclosed that the Odebrecht construction company would be making its first disbursement of US$30 million as part of the agreement reached following revelations that the Brazilian firm paid bribes in exchange for being granted lucrative infrastructure contracts in the Dominican Republic. The remaining US$154 million will be paid over an eight-year period.
AG Rodríguez informed that thirty million dollars were paid to the authorities on Thursday. He said that the 184 million dollar figure, a sum equivalent to double the 92 millions the firm admitted paying in bribes, was negotiated in acordance with Law 448-06 on bribery in Trade and Investment. The rest will be disbursed in stages, in annual payments until January 2025.
The Brazilian company admitted to the courts in the United States, Brazil and Switzerland that it paid 788 million dollars in bribes in several countries, including the Dominican Republic.
Rodríguez pointed out that the Dominican Republic is the only country that will receive the full compensation over an eight-year period, in contrast with the twenty-year timeframes negotiated by Brazil, Colombia, Panama and Peru.
He added that the country would enjoy privileged rights in charging the compensation over the other countries affected by the bribes, with the exception of the U.S., Brazil and Switzerland.
The public prosecution service will request the lifting of precautionary measures taken against the firm, like the temporary suspension of private contracting. This means the company will be allowed to continue operating in the country but will have to follow international corporate standards and best practices.
Rodríguez said that the public prosecution service was requiring Odebrecht’s Dominican affiliate to apply the same strengthening measures for ethics, corporate government, integrity and transparency as agreed in the Leniency Agreement signed with Brazil, the U.S. and Switzerland, where the company will also be allowed to operate providing it meets the required conditions.
These actions must be executed within a 24-month period and all progress made in the implementation will be reported to the public prosecution authorities on a quarterly basis.
Feb 5, 2017
Category: DR News |