Local February 24, 2015 | 12:14 pm

Dominican sports icon denies drug lord’s allegation

Santo Domingo.- "I assure all those who are listening to my statements, I never… never saw this man or anyone, handing a briefcase to president Leonel Fernández Reyna," said Juan Marichal, the first Dominican in the Baseball Hall of Fame, in a 22-second video, in which he denied that the former chief executive received money from convicted drug trafficker Quirino Paulino.

In a telephone call to a radio program a few days ago, Paulino said several alleged "witnesses” saw the “delivery" of a briefcase with RD$5.0 million to Fernández, including Juan Marichal.

"Leonel and I had a meeting in the main room of Margarita Gómez, in that apartment Mr. Manuel Florentino y Florentino was there. At that meeting with Leonel there, I went to take money that night, and in the room also was the major league baseball player, who’s a close friend of Leonel, Juan Marichal," Paulino said.

Some of the kingpin’s calls are contradictory, and have been refuted by several people named in his "statements," including Paulino’s assertion that he was no longer a protected witness in the US, but the next day said otherwise.

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