Releases in Odebrecht case stun Dominican Republic
M. German comments on investigation. Photo elnuevodiario.com.do
Santo Domingo.- The release on bond of seven of the 13 former officials and lawmakers charged with taking Odebrecht’s admitted bribes of US$92.0 million, and the dissenting votes of two of Supreme Court justices who heard their appeal, has sharpened the critique against the Justice Ministry’s investigation.
The two justices and some lawyers say that the Justice Ministry must “fine-tune” the probe to sustain its accusation and submit strong evidence so the case doesn’t go unpunished.
In a surprising early Sunday morning ruling, the Supreme Court’s 2nd Penal Chamber set bail for seven defendants, with three dissident votes: Miríam Germán, Juan Hirohito Reyes and Esther Agelán.
Bond of RD$15.0 million each was set for Former Industry and Commerce minister Juan Temístocles Montás, opposition PRM party president Andrés Bautista, former deputy Ruddy González, and former Electric Utility CEO Radhamés Segura.
Bond of RD$10 million was set for former Electric Utility CEO César Sánchez and RD$5 million for Máximo D’Oleo.
Attorney Conrado Pittaluga was placed under house arrest; former Public Works minister Víctor Díaz Rúa will continue under nine months of pretrial detention and one year for Angel Rondón and RD$5 million for deputy Alfredo Pacheco.
Senators Tommy Galán and Julio César Valentín will both continue released on RD$5.0 million bond, while former water utility (Inapa) CEO Roberto Rodríguez will spend nine months under house arrest.
Dissident vote and the Prosecutor
Although the reading of the Court’s full ruling is set for July 19, Germán motivated her dissenting vote with searing critique of the Office of the Prosecutor’s investigation and judge Ortega Polanco’s initial ruling.
“It happens that most of the evidence that the Prosecutor says are the result of pleas bargaining in Brazil, but one by one don’t contain clear and precise statements about the activities of the accused. The ‘I believe’, ‘I think’ abound.”