Not one corrupt government official convicted during Medina’s first term
Santo Domingo.- Not one conviction has been handed down againsta corrupt government official during president Danilo Medina’s first term in officedespite the many cases that go to trial, while those that come to light have drawnwide rebuke, made newspaper headlines and spurred nationwide protests.
Among the most questioned cases figure that of ruling party(PLD) senator Felix Bautista, as the Supreme Court decided to drop the chargesincluding alleged kickbacks of more than RD$25 billion, which represent the JusticeMinistry’s failures when prosecuting government officials.
The trial against Bautista started in April, 2012 andlasted until October 21 last year, when the Supreme Court upheld the ruling to acquitthe lawmaker from San Juan Province. He was charged with embezzlement as headof the State Supervising Engineers Office (OISOE).
In similar cases figured former Public Works minister VictorDiaz Rúa (2007-2012) and National Assets (BN) director Elias Wessin Chavez(2007-2012), with no convictions on both
The clash in June between National District prosecutor YeniBerenice Reynoso and Anticorruption (Pepca) prosecutor Laura Guerrero reveals alack of coordination within the Justice Ministry, which further hobbles the fightagainst government corruption.
Reynoso said she regrets that cases involving the powerfulwould casue Pepca "amnesia" to which Guerrero countered by accusing Reynosoof revealing to the press evidence against former OISOE director MiguelPimentel Kareh, without providing it to the Pepca.
Another example of dysfunctional prosecution in Bautista’scase was voiced by Supreme Court justice Miriam German Brito, who described as "sloppyand imprecise" the Justice Ministry’s actions. "I know the performanceof a sector of the Justice Ministry which acts as if its theory of the case “werethe word of God.”