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Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 02:44 am EDT

Defense Lawyers Accuse Public Ministry of "Judicial Terrorism"

Corruption By Grisel Bethancourt for La Critica - Attorney Carlos Carrillo filed a request for habeas corpus yesterday before Panama's Supreme Court against the arrest of former Minister of Education Belgis Castro, which was ordered by the Second Anti Corruption Prosecutor, Kenya Porcell. Carrillo said that two days ago - when Castro was being interrogated - lawyers for the Ministry of Education presented a request for Castro to be arrested at 4:55 pm - which reveals interference on the part of the Executive branch of government. According to the lawyer, Castro's detention is unlawful because an audit conducted by the Nation's Comptroller does not tie Castro to the embezzlement of $136,000 dollars in contracts awarded to the company INMECA S.A, for the removal of fiberglass insulation in ten schools in the eastern sector of Panama City. He said Castro's life is in danger, and questioned the decision of the physician at the Institute of Legal Medicine, Vera Lucía Perea, who determined Castro to be fit for detention in prison. Meanwhile, lawyer Victor Almengor, who is representing former Education Minister Salvador Rodriguez, who will be interrogated on Tuesday, fears his client might meet the same fate as Belgis Castro. "If we had a fair legal system, there would be no fear, but they are trampling on the law," said Almengor. According to Almengor, "the prosecution is under political pressure and they are allowing their arm to be twisted," and they are doing a "circus for the people." Belgis In The DIJ - Meanwhile, Castro remains under arrest and is being held at the headquarters of the offices of the Directorate of Judicial Investigation (DIJ), said the director Javier Carrillo. Castro was visited by two doctors who examined him to verify his health condition. (See Comments)

Editor's Comment: Health conditions - the last refuge of a guy who's politically and legally screwed. It's common in Panama for people who used to "be somebody" but who are now under investigation for acts of corruption to suddenly develop "health problems" that are supposedly significant enough to keep them from being incarcerated. In fact most of the time these guys are perfectly fine, but they've got enough money to find and pay a doctor who is willing to sign just about anything - "in my judgement he should be on bed rest at home." Not so much of a leap, eh? Anyway, that explains why they took Castro to the Institute of Legal Medicine the other day - to have him checked over on the way to prison. And another thing - so what if there is "meddling" from the Executive Branch to push for the prosecution of these guys. What matters is their conduct - not who's calling for their damn heads. If they did in fact break the law, then they should be prosecuted, tried, convicted, and sentenced. And if the lawyers from the Ministry of Education can help the prosecutors pull that off by providing additional evidence and documentation, then more power to them. Read between the lines on this one. It says "I can't believe they are doing this to a former Minister - it's not the way the game has been played..." Sorry, Charlie - the rules have changed. And remember, this is just one contract that's being examined. I've not news for you - there are actually hundreds of contracts out there from all Ministries worth hundreds of millions of dollars. That's how the Torrijos administration was stealing the money - through the manipulation of these contracts. Wait until they get around to cooking the MOP... Castro is just the warm-up.

Abogados califican al MP de aplicar "terrorismo judicial" Grisel Bethancourt | Crítica en Línea

El abogado Carlos Carrillo presentó ayer, en la Corte Suprema de Justicia, un hábeas corpus contra la detención del ex ministro de Educación, Belgis Castro, ordenada por la fiscal Segunda Anticorrupción encargada, Kenia Porcell.

Carrillo denunció que anteayer -cuando Castro era indagado- la apoderada judicial del Ministerio de Educación presentó a las 4:55 p.m. la petición de la orden de detención preventiva de su cliente, lo que revela la injerencia del Ejecutivo.

Según el jurista, la detención es ilegal, ya que la auditoría de la Contraloría no vincula a Castro en el peculado de $136 mil en contratos otorgados a la empresa INMECA S.A., para la remoción de fibra de vidrio en 10 escuelas del sector este de la capital.

Aseguró que la vida de Belgis Castro está en peligro, y cuestionó la decisión de la doctora del Instituto de Medicina Legal, Vera Lucía Perea, quien determinó que Castro podía ser recluido en un centro carcelario.

Por su parte, el abogado Víctor Almengor, en representación del ex ministro de Educación, Salvador Rodríguez, quien debe ser indagado el martes, teme que su defendido tenga la misma suerte de Belgis Castro.

"Si estuviéramos en un sistema legalista, no habría ningún temor, pero están pisoteando la ley", indicó Almengor.

De acuerdo con Almengor, "el Ministerio Público está siendo presionado políticamente y se está dejando torcer el brazo", están haciendo un "circo para el pueblo".

BELGIS EN LA DIJ En tanto, Castro permanece en una oficina de la sede de la Dirección de Investigación Judicial (DIJ), informó el director Javier Carrillo.

Castro fue visitado por dos médicos que están pendientes de su condición de salud.

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