RD$1.8B fraud case convicts, ex banker pardoned could return to jail
Santo Domingo.- Convicted ex banker Vivian Lubrano and those pardoned in the Plan Renove RD$1.9 billion fraud case could land behind bars again to serve out their jail sentence if the Constitutional Court (TC) upholds a challenge as unconstitutional against president Leonel Fernandez’s decree which freed them.
Supreme Court sent the unconstitutionality challenge to the TC, filed by the lawyers Remberto Pichardo Juan and Hermes Guerrero, against decree 487-08, which pardoned Lubrano and the convicts Pedro Franco Badía, Antonio Marte, Milcíades Amaro Guzmán and Gervacio de la Rosa on December 22, 2008.
Pichardo and Guerrero claim the decree violates the previous Constitution passed January 26, 2010, whose article 55, numeral 27 states that pardons must be decreed in accordance to law, which in this case would be number 65, 1963, that creates a commission that evaluates the clemency and decides whom the President will pardon afterwards.
The Supreme Court didn’t hand down a ruling on the challenge submitted February 6, 2009, and then transferred it to the recently created Constitutional Court, which will hear it through the so called “accordion system to hear the old files left by the Supreme Court.”
The challenge notes that the defendants’ convictions had acquired the authority of the irrevocably judged, and that the National District Appellate Court sentenced Lubrano on April 17, 2008, upheld by the Supreme Court on July 8, 2008.
It said on December 17, 2007 the Santo Domingo Province Court of Appeals found the Plan Renove defendants guilty, also upheld by the Supreme Court on February 21, 2008.
The challenges states that all those found guilty were sent prison but served only part of their sentences as the result of the I pardons, while Lubrano de lasted only two hours in prison, pardoned on alleged illness, which, according to the instance, “blatantly violating the equality before the law consecrated in the Constitution.”
“Doctor Leonel Fernandez’s decree which pardoned them doesn’t adhere with the past Constitution, since the same (as the one passed on January 26, 2010) stipulates in its article 55, numeral 27 that the pardons must be decreed in compliance with the law, which in this case would be Law 65, 1963 on pardons which creates a commission that must evaluate those who would be pardoned and which will later decide who’ll be pardoned by the President,” the challenge says.
It adds that despite the provisions, those convicts never submitted their cases to the referred commission, without adhering to the revision established by Law.