Local December 8, 2015 | 5:05 pm

Corruption won’t defeat us: Dominican Republic´s top prosecutor

Santo Domingo.-Dominican Republic´s justice minister on Tuesday said the justice system´s actors-including himself- have yet to obtain adequate punishment for graft, noting howeverthat "corruption will not defeat us."

Francisco Dominguez said"the thieves aren’t going to win, they have strength, but will not be ableto corner us at any time, we will have the strength and energy to overcome thissituation."

Speaking in a ceremonyhosted by the Government Ethics Commission to mark InternationalAnti-Corruption Day

The official said oneof Dominican society´s great challenges is to establish more solid mechanismsto prosecute crime.

To hell and heaven

He questioned the motivefor enrichment who in his view many officials have. "What happens to us? What’shappening, if I am a minister, if I’m official, why do I want so many luxurycars? Why do I have to amass 100, 200, 300, 500 million pesos? Is it that I’mgoing to take it to heaven or hell when I die if that´s my lot; Is it that theyare going to put in the casket with me?"

Dominguez noted that termas prosecutor in a previous he obtained indictments against five formerministers of former president Hipolito Mejia´s administration in the case of governmentembezzlement known as Plan Renove “but there were never any sanctions. Thesanctions were minuscule of two years for some."

"We saw how thegreenhouses were handed out to governmentofficials, were given US$80,000 each; we saw cases like Bahia de las Aguilas,we are still struggling since 15, 20 years ago to attain a criminal penalty,and our hope lays in the Land (curt) Jurisdiction."

The official went on tolist more recent cases, among them the alleged corruption in the State Works SupervisoryEngineers Office (OISOE), the Dominican Municipal League, National Assets and thecity mayors, and the “bribes for rulings” scandal in which judges reportedlyformed a network to release felons. "It’s a constant war of postponements,of mistrust, very complex situations and ultimately cast asunder that desirefor prosecution."

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