Local July 25, 2016 | 4:03 pm

Three fired judges are part of powerful crime ring: Top prosecutor

Santo Domingo.- The Justice Ministry accuses three judges firedby the Supreme Judicial Council (CPJ) of forming part of a criminal networkthat manipulates rulings and negotiates the release of people linked toorganized crime, mostly drug trafficking, money laundering and graft.

According to charges announced Monday by Justice ministerFrancisco Dominguez, the structure operated at the top echelon of the judicialsystem, allegedly headed by suspended CPJ member Francisco Arias, with othertrial judges as accomplices.

Dominguez said the case of fired judges Victor Mejia, RosóVallejo and Jose Dionisio Duvergé shouldn’t remain a mere disciplinary trialand studies the ruling against them to determine the next step. "We willreview today the ruling handed down over the weekend. That should not stay asdisciplinary trial, we will widen it."

Thus far the case file has uncovered the ring headed byArias, and judges Awilda Reyes, Germán Figueroa, Duvergé, Vallejo and Mejia.

Individually, the Justice Ministry has opened criminalproceedings against Arias and Reyes.

Mejia is charged with, among other crimes, releasing onRD$100,000 bond in exchange for money, Puerto Rican Jose Antonio David Colonand Dominicans Federico Castillo, Edickson Javier Maria and Francisco AmaurySimo, arrested with 388 kilos of cocaine.

The also fired judge Espinosa is accused, among othercharges, of conspiracy with collusion withMejia, to release on bond Jose Martin Cortorreal, charged with drugtrafficking, allegedly in exchange for RD$1.0 million.

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