Judge-prosecutor scandal roils Dominican Republic’s Judiciary
Santo Domingo.- National District prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso’s allegation that Instruction Court judge Margarita Cristo received US$2.0 million from a convicted drug trafficker has not only unleashed the biggest judicial scandal in recent history, but has also managed to drive a wedge between attorneys and magistrates.
Dozens of Assistant DAs assigned to the National District on Tuesday stated their support for Reynoso and her actions taken in the embezzlement case against former Public Works minister Víctor Díaz Rúa.
Donning the traditional black robe and beanie, the officials gathered at the Esplanade in front of the Prosecutor’s Office to show solidarity with their supervisor.
"We’re with her and her seriousness and honesty cannot be questioned," said Dante Castillo, who heads Homicide Dept of the Office of the National District Office of the Prosecutor.
On Tuesday Cristo warned that Reynoso will have to prove she had met with Puerto Rican drug kingpin Jose Figueroa Agosto, and with Díaz Rúa’s defense lawyers.
"Why does she want to link me with the Figueroa Agosto case if I was never in that process? She (Reynoso) mentioned that I received two million dollars in the Figueroa Agosto case," Cristo said on local radio.
Meanwhile the Dominicans Judges Association for Democracy (JUDEMO) “publicly expresses a firm will to energetically rebuke the actions by National District Prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso Gómez.”
In a statement, JUDEMO called Reynoso’s behavior “a very grave attempt against the Judicial Branch’s institutionalism.”