Contributed by: Don WinnerFaced with accusations of having delivered a cell phone to a high-profile detainee, the lawyer and former Attorney General Rogelio Cruz defended himself this Wednesday, Oct. 10, saying he thought it was just a wristwatch. In this incident Cruz went to visit Fermín Antonio Taveras Ramírez at the prison cell in the headquarters of the National Police located in Ancon, where he is being held, charged with the kidnapping and murder of five young Asian university students in La Chorrera, to talk to him and to supposedly give him a wristwatch that had been sent by a relative, according to the explanation made by the lawyer.
Meanwhile, about the disclosure via social networks of the video made of him handing over the package, the lawyer said this is a violation of the rights of the detainee, who was being recorded while he was meeting with his legal counsel, because those conversations are private.
He said the National Police violated the rules of the American Convention of Human Rights and the Criminal Code with the recording. He added that after the visit, he received an anonymous call warning him about the use of the recording to damage his image, because it had already been determined that he had given the detainee a cellular telephone.
Cruz said he filed a complaint with the prosecutor Sofanor Espinosa for the supposed violation, for the recording of a private conversation. (Estrella)
Editor's Comment: Yeah, right. "I thought it was a watch." Bullshit. No body believes this guy. Everyone in prison knows the lawyers are the guys who smuggle all sorts of contraband into the prisons, to their clients. Cruz is trying to hide behind defenses of "violation of privacy" arguing that his meeting with the accused was protected. He's also trying to play a "plausible deniability" card by saying he thought it was just a wristwatch. This video was all over the morning news today, and it's the scandal of the moment. Rogelio Cruz is one of the most recognized, highly visible, and best known lawyers in Panama. He's also a former Attorney General. So we're supposed to believe him when he says he didn't know it was actually a cellular telephone? Just watch the video. Cruz obviously knows he's smuggling something to the detainee, just in the way the phone is passed, hidden under a piece of paper. I have no idea what the allowable penalties are for this sort of behavior, but I hope the governmental authorities make an example of him. This guy - Fermín Antonio Taveras Ramírez - is a serial killer accused of having kidnapped five college students, holding them for ransom, extracting hundreds of thousands of dollars from their family members, torturing the victims, killing them, and then burying their bodies under the floor of a house. But Cruz wants to make him out to be the "victim" of a violation of this rights and privacy. Disgusting behavior, and unfortunately this is the type of thing for which Panamanian criminal defense lawyers are well known.
Rogelio Cruz was the first person to occupy the position of Attorney General after the US invasion of Panama, Operation Just Cause. He was appointed by President Guillermo Endara and took the position on 26 December 1989, replacing Carlos Villaláz. He remained in the position as Attorney General for exactly three years and was removed on 26 December 1992, after the Supreme Court convicted him criminally. To make a long story short, Cruz was involved in "unfreezing" money related to drug trafficking and money laundering. The US Embassy and DEA were involved. He also made documents disappear. He was fired, and replaced. Now he's smuggling cell phones to serial killers, on video.