Local February 18, 2015 | 1:25 pm

US$100M embezzlement case: Senator, associates ‘can’t justify wealth’

Santo Domingo.- Justice minister Francisco Dominguez on Wednesday said in the embezzlement case against senator Felix Bautista, none of the accused have justified the origin of their wealth or challenged the evidence in the indictment.

Speaking to reporters on allegations of the defendants and collaborators, the official reaffirmed that the law clearly states that when an official fails to justify their assets, it qualifies as criminal illicit enrichment.

"We’re talking about one of Dominican Republic’s biggest corruption cases where the prosecution has done its part of a well-orchestrated due process,” Dominguez said, and challenged the accused to prove where their money came from, “which hasn’t happened thus far."

The official said he expects the ruling after the trial will send the message that impunity no longer exists in the Dominican Republic.

Court papers reveal an alleged embezzlement of more than US$100.0 million attributed to Bautista, former head of the State Works Supervising Engineers Office (OISOE), a sort of parallel Public Works Ministry.

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