´Bribe receipt´ stokes Dominican Republic judicial crisis
Santo Domingo.- NCDN newsdirector Nuria Piera on Friday discloseda copy of a receipt in which suspended judge Awilda Reyes returns 350,000 pesosas an alleged bribe to release a councilman indicted for several murders-for-hire.
According to thedocument, Reyes had received money from former Judicial Council member FranciscoArias, in exchange to release Pedro Brand councilman Erickson de los Santos.
The signatures of bothReyes and Arias figure on the receipt dated Nov. 2 that reads: "I AwildaReyes Beltre, judge of the Fourth Division of the Chamber of the Court of FirstInstance of the National District, give the Director Francisco Arias Valera, atotal of 275 bills of 2,000 pesos for a total of 350,000 pesos, money that hegave me said counsicl member, as an advance to release the councilman of PedroBrand, Erickson de los Santos Solis, alias Ney, municipality of Santo DomingoWest."
Piera said the returnof the money occurred in the presence of Supreme Court chief justice MarianoGermán.
Arias, a former judge,had challenged the evidence presented as the alleged bribe and the chargesagainst him, a case which his lawyer called "a struggle for power."