Local November 19, 2015 | 8:07 am

Dominican Republic´s judicial branch ´in crisis´

Santo Domingo.- DominicanRepublic´s judicial branch is in crisis as evidenced by former Judiciary Councilmember Francisco Arias Valera, charged with heading a network of judges which manipulatedjudicial processes to release drug traffickers and money laundering, Justiceminister Francisco Dominguez warned Wednesday.

He said the release ofPedro Brand (south) city councilman Erickson de Santos Solis was in exchangefor money given to National District 4th Criminal Chamber judgeAwilda Reyes, suspended without pay together with five other magistrates.

"The case of the councilmanis very serious, very delicate where there was money involved, where actors andtaskmasters of the Judiciary provided that money and where there was such a rulingfavoring a person who heads a group of hired killers, the head of micro-traffickingin that area and responsible for the large number of land invasions that haveoccurred throughout the sector," said Dominguez.

He said there should beprison in cases where actors of the system are part of the crime, not just dismissals.

The official revealedthat other judges linked to cases with links to felons are being investigated,and urged a collective resolve in the judiciary´s disciplinary entities andprosecutors, to deal with the alleged crisis. "I think here´s a judicial crisisthroughout which led to these last six cases and there´re undoubtedly othercases and this has ramifications, links which oblige us to act very firmly.”

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