In historic move Dominican Republic charges six judges
Santo Domingo.-Dominican Republic´s Judicial Council on Monday suspended and ordered a disciplinarytrial for six judges whom the Justice Ministry accuses of manipulating lawsuitsand the release of people linked to organized crime, mostly drug traffickers,money launderers and corruption.
The announcement comesjust hours after Francisco Dominguez revealed that an investigation foundnumerous acts of corruption and evidence that the alleged structure is headedby Francisco Valera Arias, who resigned from the Judicial Council last week aswell as from his post as Santo Domingo province 4th Instruction Courtjudge.
The scandal also comesin the wake of mounting rebuke of the judges in recent weeks on rulings favoringmany accused of felonies, especially those with alleged links to organizedcrime and money laundering.
The judges Awilda ReyesBeltre, of the National District 4th Criminal Chamber; Delio GermánFigueroa, National District 1st Panel Court; Jose Mejia Duvergé, SantoDomingo province 5th Instruction Court; Rosso Vallejo Espinosa, SantoDomingo province Appellate Court Criminal Chamber, and Victor Mejia Lebronjudge of the same jurisdiction.
Germán and Vallejo, twoof the judges accused by Dominguez, had sought to be appointed to the JudicialCouncil.
The official added thatemployees of the judiciary, lawyers and individuals will also be charged in thecase, the first where the country´s judicial system moves so quickly against itsown members.
Serbio Tulio Castaños,prominent attorney and director of the think tank Institutionalism and JusticeFoundation (FINJUS), called the charges “the most serious ever” against membersof the judiciary. “The most serious accusations ever levied against judges ofthe Dominican republic.”