Local March 5, 2017 | 3:09 pm

As Dominican Republic Gov. is dealt court loss, bribe festers

Santo Domingo.- Presidency legal advisor Flavio Darío Espinal on Saturday said the government respects judge Alejandro Vargas’ ruling which struck down the plea bargaining agreement between the prosecution and Odebrecht, in which the company would pay the StateUS$184.0 in damages for its admitted bribe of US$92.0 million.

“That may be questionable or not, but that’s what he determined, and that must be respected. So it’s not the agreement that has been called into question, rather the modality, the institutional figure that the Justice Ministry used,” the lawyer said.

The official acknowledged that in Dominican society there’s a legitimate demand for transparency and an end to impunity in cases of corruption that tarnish the government’s work.

Espinal said president Danilo Medina “is aware of that reality” and reiterated that the head of State is the most interested in clarifying everything concerning the tender for the Punta Catalina power plant, “as in all other cases.”

He didn’t rule out however that economic sectors and political interests want to take advantage of the Punta Catalina case since, in his view, the State is going to displace a series of power companies that sell energy at a high cost, a situation he affirms will lead to large losses to stakeholders in the business sector.

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