Pact linked to Menendez corruption case languishes in Dominican court
Santo Domingo.- The Constitutional Court has yet to hand down a ruling on the contract to install X-ray scanners in the country’s ports, 10 months after the Justice Ministry’ request, in a case linked to the federal charges on corruption against US Sen. Bob Menendez.
Local media report that the high Court confirmed there’s "no ruling" and didn’t say when the judges will hear the case filed June 12, 2013, which seeks to nullify as unconstitutional resolution 188-03, approved by Congress December 15, 2003.
The Justice Ministry seeks to strike the contract signed July 18, 2002, between the Dominican government and the company ICSSI, linked to prominent eye doctor Salomon Melgen, a codefendant in the indictment against Menendez.
Attorney Laura Acosta, who studied the contract as a legal consultant for the State, called the pact “lopsided” against the country, for which it cannot be approved. "The conditions of the contract are so draconian and onerous than it would require a different contract to become legal."
"There’s another contract which states that the ICSSI representative had invested one million dollars to promote and secure approval of these contracts," Acosta said.
"It’s an outrageous contract," she said, citing a clause that says the company will have an insurance paid by the government.