(qCOSTARICA) Jorge Pita, 70, today sits in a jail cell in La Reforma prison, for the third time in the past 18 months, for failure to pay support to his estranged wife, child support and tuition fees at a private school for his 11-year-old daughter, amounting to ¢10.8 million colones.
The first time Pita was in jail was in February 2014, when he spent 48 days behind bars until he was able to pay then the amount of ¢11.2 million colones. Eight months later, he again was back in prison, this time for six months, the maximum holding time by law.
Pita has not paid, saying he doesn’t have the money, since his only source of income, a high-end restaurant in Escazu, is now in the control of his extranged wife and thus has no income.
According to Pita, earlier this month, on July 9, two Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) agents arrived at his home in Curridabat, telling him he was asked to appear in court by the Pavas prosecutor in a criminal case, not related to the alimony issue. The OIJ press office has no record of this.
Pita said he went along voluntarily, having not to fear. “She has accused me of something that supposedly had happened in 2014; it is presumed something I do not really know, because I haven’t seen her. I believe they used the prosecutor to find me,” said Pita.
Outside the Pavas courthouse, Pita says he was met by his estranged wife’s lawyer offerimg him a deal to pay only ¢300,000 colones monthly instead of the ¢3.6 million, if he agrees to divorce her.
“She was married in Venezuela before marrying me in 2006. I learned of that marriage in 2013, when we broke up. If I agree to divorce her, I’ll be an accomplice to a crime. As I refused, they brought me here to La Reforma,” Pita told La Nacion.
La Nacion says they have not been able to successfully get in touch with the woman or her lawyer.
The businessman says he is keeping a journal of everything that has occurred since the OIJ agents arrested him at his home, and will submit it to the Constitutional Court for an action of habeas corpus.
“I am not tired, I will overcome. I have a motto that says ‘intelligence and truth always wins over lies and evil’. All my life I have lived by this.
“At some point the court has to recognize the injustice that has been done. They took from me what I build in 40 years of work and now retire me in La Reforma,” he said.
Eugenia Quesada, the lawyer representing Pita, said her client does not have the money to pay. He does not having the working capital, money accumulated in the business over the years, that is in a corporate account and he doesn’t have access to the company.
Quesada added that her client is holding up well, he is not depressed, despite he has not been able to see his daughter for the last two years.