Local September 8, 2016 | 11:58 am

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Prosecutor wants open trial in US$22.2M ‘watergate’ scandal

Santo Domingo.- Anticorruption (Pepca) prosecutor LauraGuerrero on Thursday said the trial on embezzlement against National Water Institute (Inapa) former director Alberto Holguin, mustbe public and open to the media.

She said despite the proceeding’s preliminary phase, thepreliminary hearing should allow a space where journalists can see what’staking place and what evidence there is. "I don’t agree with a hearing behindclosed doors with only the prosecution, defense lawyers and defendants."

She said it’s a case that has seriously affected society becauseit’s about more than RD$1.0 billion (US$22.2M). “That’s why the people need toknow if what’s being said; that it’s a weak and malicious process, whether isreal or whether or not the state was defrauded by a group which conspired tobenefit from one of our institutions.”

"It is absolutely untrue that Mrs. Sobeida Perdomo andMr. Alberto Alcibiades Holguin haven’t been interrogated, so it’s importantthat the hearing acquires the levels of publicity it a case of this nature deservesfor the Dominican State," the official said.

Guerrero added that a search and seizure warrant was issuedin 2015 for Inapa where all of the agency’s documents were taken to the Pepcaand had been audited by analysts and accountants there. "It’s not truethat all Inapa officials didn’t know, including the director at that time, Mr.Alcibiades Holguin, that we were behind such investigations.

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