QCOSTARICA – The latest victim in the “caso cochinilla” is Costa Rica’s Attorney General (Fiscal General), Emilia María Navas Aparicio, 56, who on Friday gave her 60 days notice, leaving office on August 25, although in practice, it will be on July 12.
Navas alleges that although she has demonstrated she is ‘straight and honest’, she does not wish to weaken the role of the Public Ministry.
Her departure is in the midst of a controversy over her nine inhibitors in high-profile cases, the majority her husband, a high profile defense lawyer, taking on clients being investigated by the Attorney General’s office.
Through a press release on Friday, Navas specified that she will take her retirement from that date. But she will be taking her vacation exactly from July 13 to August 24. This means that, technically, the last day of her work at the head of the Public Ministry will be Monday, July 12.
The announcement comes 11 days after the raids on the Conavi, the road works council of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, and others, that resulted in the detention of 33 people connected to alleged bribery and corruption in road works.
From that day on, the prosecutor began to receive a series of questions, since her husband, Francisco José Campos Aguilar, is a lawyer for MECO, one of the construction companies and its owner, involved in the apparent irregularities.
Navas Aparicio separated herself from the investigation three days after the June 14 raid.
In the statement released this Friday, Navas specified that she has worked in the Judiciary for 32 years. During that time, “I have shown proof of my ethical and moral solvency, both in my private life and in my professional practice.”
“Upon assuming the position of Attorney General of the Republic, more than three and a half years ago, I sought to instill the highest standards of probity, transparency and legitimacy in the functions of the Public Ministry, which generated new and more transparent management models.
“The road has been long and difficult; however, I am convinced that it has been worth it, because we have a stronger Public Ministry, functionally independent and combative of the acts of corruption that hit the country and affect the common well-being,” she assured.
However, she stressed that in recent days there have been “a series of personal attacks and against the institution” and that although she has demonstrated her “right and honest” act, she does not wish to weaken the role of the Public Ministry and the work of the Prosecutor’s Office.
“In order not to distract attention from what is essential, that is to say, the frontal fight against corruption, I have decided to take the retirement to which I am entitled.
“As of today (Friday) and until July 12, I will dedicate myself to making the corresponding reports to make the transition from the position to the deputy prosecutor (Warner Rafael Molina Ruiz) and, later, between July 13 and July 24 In August, I have asked the Presidency of the Supreme Court to take the vacation period that corresponds to me, to make my retirement effective as of August 25, 2021,″ Navas explained.
Fernando Cruz, the chief justice of Costa Rica’s Supreme Court said, “Her time had been shortened and the legitimacy of her appointment as well,” and that the Court will review in Monday’s session the retirement letter and will immediately begin the process to appoint a substitute.
“It does not surprise me (Emilia Navas’ decision to retire) because it seems to me that she had already been suffering, especially in this last case from the Ministry of Transport and concessions, a deterioration in public valuation.
While the Court chooses the new attorney general, that position will be held by the deputy AG, Warner Molina Ruiz, who was appointed on June 7, for a period of one year.