Local November 14, 2012 | 7:25 am

Charges dropped against ex Dom. Rep. President, during his speech

Santo Domingo.- While much of the Dominican population was concentrated on former president Leonel Fernandez’s speech to the country last night, the Justice Ministry announced that the criminal complaints filed against his close collaborators Felix Bautista and Victor Diaz Rúa, will not be prosecuted, citing lack of evidence that criminal action led to the fiscal deficit.

Fernandez said economic factors led to the deficit such as the fall in estimated revenue, the excessive subsidy to the power sector, and spending in social programs and public works demanded by the population.

He said, however, that the tax reform was a need which had been demanded for several years and to back his assertion quoted the National Business Council (Conep) before the May 20 election, the International Monetary Fund and the contents of the National Development Strategy.

"For a long time the discussion on the need to strike a tax agreement aimed at the realization of a comprehensive tax reform, which involves, among other things, as has been said, the increase in the tax burden or taxes,” the former President said.

He questioned why the country was sold on the idea that the tax reform was the result of the projected deficit for 2012, when in his view, “it was being demanded for years."

He denied that the deficit was due to the waste or that funds were used recklessly and irresponsibly.

Fernandez added that the projected revenue was 360 billion pesos, but the actual outcome will be around 320 billion, or 40 billion lower.

Justice minister Francisco Domínguez on Tuesday discarded prosecution on the criminal complaint filed by the party Country Alliance and the Dominican Anti-Corruption Alliance against the former president and his close collaborators Felix Bautista and Victor Diaz Rúa, noting lack of evidence of criminal responsibility leading to the fiscal deficit.

The official said the fact that there’s a fiscal deficit in in the public sector, in itself doesn’t imply that a crime was committed in the exercise of civil servants.

"It can be deduced from the study of the mentioned complaints that there are no material items or evidence involving criminal responsibility by president Leonel Fernandez, for which there’s no legal basis."

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