Santo Domingo.- President Medina on Tuesday named a civil society commission including business leaders and former officials of the State-owned Electric Utility (CDEEE) to investigate the process that led to construction of the Punta Catalina (south) coal-fired power plant by the Brazilian company Odebrecht.
The announcement comes the very day that Odebrecth local director Marcelo Hofke was being questioned at the Justice Ministry, over his company's admitted paying US$92 million in bribes to Dominican government officials in exchange for construction contracts.
Catholic bishop Agripino Núñez Collado will head commission which in addition to prominent personalities such as clergy and business leaders, also includes highly questioned former CDEEE officials.
"The commission will have full power to investigate all the officials that it wishes to investigate" says Medina's executive order.
It also instructs the commission to investigate the representatives of the law firms that took part in the CDEEE's tender process leading to the construction.
It says the measure will not interfere with the Justice Ministry's investigation of Odebrecht.
Moreover, the executive order says the commission must report its findings to the country. "It must make the investigation available to the Office of the Prosecutor any relevant information that could compromise criminal responsibility of any official or individual as soon as possible."
"Government agencies involved in the coal plant design, tendering and adjudication process should offer all the information required by the commission, including their collaboration when requested," the Presidency said in a National Palace press conference.