Local May 23, 2014 | 4:07 pm

Court acquits 3 in Bahia de las Aguilas case, cronyism cited for delays

Santo Domingo.- A National District Court on Friday acquitted former Dominican Agrarian Institute (IAD) director Jaime Rodríguez Guzmán, his brother Rafael Antonio and his wife Reina Margarita Martinez, citing the Statute of Limitations in the Bahía de las Águilas land fraud case.

First Penal Chamber Court judges Felipe Molina Tania Junes and Gregorio Bautista ruled that since June 6, 2011, the prosecution has requested the postponement of the hearings in the case against the three, charged with forging titles to take over nearly 400 square kilometers of beachfront at Jaragua National Park, Pedernales (southwest) .

National District prosecutor Yenni Berenice Reynoso said the prosecution has "all the strength" to move forward with the process and will appeal the ruling in a higher court.

"We’re talking around 400 million square meters of the national territory and it would be a shame, it would be quite regrettable that it remains unpunished, such impunity cannot continue," said Reynoso, some of whose predecessors were accused of cronyism for allowing court deadlines to expire in the country’s biggest ever land fraud case.

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