Public Ministry has videos that show construction work in Multimuebles before its collapse
Despite the fact that the owners of the company R&S Multimuebles S.R.L. denied that construction work was being carried out at the time of the building’s collapse on January 18, the file requesting a measure of coercion against Jesus Maria Sánchez Lantigua and Jorge Alberto Rosario Marte indicates the opposite. According to the document, the building collapsed while demolition, modification, and structural construction activities were being carried out, which were documented on video. These images, captured on the 16th, 17th, and 18th, establish the “arrival of the workers and the place where they began to chop the front part”.
They also have videos of workers throwing rubble and digging “deep” into the left front part of the house, among other remodeling jobs. “To this visual evidence is added the crime scene inspection report dated 01/28/2023, instrumented by Corporal Junior Brito Morel, member of the Investigation Directorate (Dicrim) of La Vega. According to the report, there were used various construction tools that allow us to inevitably conclude that the aforementioned works were carried out there”.
The report also states that the work was done without the permission of the Dominican College of Engineers and Architects (Codia) or the Department of Urban Planning of the Mayor’s Office of La Vega, which are the first competent authorities that must authorize any type of construction or modification. The Dominican State is among the victims, in addition to Yasiris Joaquin de Jesus, who was crushed by the rubble, together with the employees Jessica Bueno Reinoso, Madelyn Mercedes Abreu Brito, and Maria Arielina Hernández Fernández. On Wednesday, the legal representatives of the owners of the La Vega furniture store that collapsed rejected the Public Ministry’s accusation.
According to Luis Feliz, a lawyer for the company executives, the collapse of the building was “a fortuitous event,” and the company executives did not carry out construction work without the necessary permits. “We maintain that this was not the case, that no construction or modification was being carried out within the property, and we are not committed to any type of criminal responsibility of Jesus Maria Sánchez Lantigua and Jorge Alberto Rosario Marte (owners of the company), that everything that happened was a fortuitous event,” said the defendants’ lawyer, Luis Feliz.
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The argument by the owner’s lawyer is crazy, does not hold water. Something was being done to adjust the building the caused the collapse.
The use of the word fortuitous in relation to an event that resulted in death and injury is hardly appropriate.