Former president of Costa Rica Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Echeverría (1998-2002) and his wife Lorena Clare Facio.
Former president of Costa Rica Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Echeverría (1998-2002) and his wife Lorena Clare Facio.

Former president Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Echeverría said on Tuesday he blames his problems of the past nine years, four months and two days, to a persecution by former Attorney General, Francisco Dall’Anese, the president of the Instituto Costarricense de Seguros (INS), Guillermo Constenla and former president of Costa Rica,  Abel Pacheco de la Espriella (2002-2006).

The former president said during this time he has faced four judicial accusations (all found him not guilty) that were part of a persecution against him.

The statement was made during a press conference Tuesday with respect to the dismissal of criminal charges against him by the Juzgado Penal de Hacienda (Court of Finance) in the case of the alleged payment of bribes he and former state officials received between 1998 and 2002 from the London based re-insurer, PWS.

For Rodríguez, judge Roxana Burgos Corrales “came to confirm my confidence in the judges with this declaration of innocence”, recalling that 3.409 days ago he returned home voluntarily after stepping down as the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS).

“I did not persecute Miguel nor anyone. It’s not in my nature to be like that”, was the response by former president Pacheco to the Rodríguez statement.

Dall’Anese, for his part, said “I left the public prosecutor’s office three and a half years ago, but the criminal action continued. If it had been something personal the new Attorney General would have put an end to it all”.

Meanwhile, Constenla, who is still the president of the INS, said, “the INS has never persecuted anyone. We have never made any public comment against Miguel Angel Rodriguez”.

For the 74 year Rodriguez the acquittal on Monday ended a nine year ordeal, and despite the damage done to his reputation, he said has not thought of suing the government of Costa Rica.

While Rodríguez considers the case closed, the press office of the Fiscalia (Prosecutor) said on Tuesday that they will appeal the acquittal because “there are flaws in the judgement and that there are sufficient and appropriate elements to maintain the charges”.

Eduardo Araya, one of Rodriguez’s lawyer, considers an appeal unlikely, because the case by the prosecution has serious structural problems that were pointed by judge Burgos and that cannot be solved.

The Court of Finance decision, also benefited Christopher Zawadzki and Alvaro Prado Acuña , president and former head of INS Reinsurance, respectively, as well as Gilda Montes de Oca (Zawadzki’s wife) Roxana Cordero Bogantes (Acuña’s wife ) and Rónald Bonilla Rodriguez, former head of Seguros del Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE). In addition, the following ICE officials let off the hook were: Porfirio Brenes Quesada, Antonio Corrales Moya, Ramón González and Roberto Lara Molinari Chinchilla.

Source: La Nacion


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