Local December 14, 2011 | 7:44 am

Ex Cincinnati Reds star pitcher admits links to drug trafficking fugitive

Santo Doming.- Former Cincinnati Reds star pitcher Jose Rijo yesterday admitted having business dealings a fugitive wanted in the Dominican Republic on charges of murder and drug trafficking, telling one reporter “that can be said,” when asked about the allegations.

The former baseball start was interrogated by the Justice Ministry’s Complex Case Department director Frank Soto, in connection with his business dealings with the fugitive Matias Avelino Castro, wanted in the September murder of the journalist Jose Silvesre in La Romana.

He’ll be questioned again at 9am today by German Miranda, the entity’s Ant-laundering Unit.

Rijo apologized for failing to appear despite being subpoenaed twice, citing a situation which in his view requires much red tape.

After the interrogation, the former Cincinnati Reds ace said he’s innocent of the charge of money laundering and affirmed that his wealth is from his career in the Major Leagues.

Since Silvestre’s murder Rijo has been the target of a probe in connection with his business ties with Castro, including money laundering and drug trafficking. Silvestre’s murder took place just days after he published Castro’s name in relation to drug trafficking in his magazine La Voz de la Verdad (the voice of the truth.

Speaking with reporters, the 1990 World Series Most Valuable Player said he would like “to excuse myself with the Justice Ministry for the delay, but remember that this is an investigation that requires documents, but in my case, since I’ve been playing for 15 years, it’s not easy for a bank to bring all that documentation from one moment to another.”

“I believe that everybody knows, without exception, what I have done and from where the money that I have comes from. I was not fleeing, as has been speculated; I do not have to flee, people know where I am on a daily basis.”

But when asked if he was Castro business partner, Rijo responded: “that can be said,” but noted that the fugitive had used the name of Joaquín Espinal Almeyda.

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