The Constitutional Court or Sala IV determined that the Fuerza Pública (National Police) has the power to carry out inspections of the vehicles (including motorcycles) that they stop, if they consider a suspicion.
The decision of March 24 was in reply to a writ of habeas corpus filed by two lawyers, who claimed that officers of the Fuerza Pública had arbitrarily detained them for an hour when they left for lunch while they were in the Puntarenas Courts. And that at no time did they indicate the reasons for the detention.
In addition, they indicated that the officers never identified themselves and that the only thing they could do was write down was the license plates of the patrol unit.
They claimed that their fundamental rights were violated.
However, the Constitutional Court, after consulting the police delegation in the area, determined as a proven fact that the officers acted after receiving a call from the director of the Cen-Cinai of the area about the presence of a suspicious vehicle.
“An alert is received from the Director of the Cen-Cinai in Puntarenas, Gerardina Castro Vargas, as well as residents of the stadium community, who indicate that a gray vehicle with the license plate (…) with two men inside had been for several days parking in front of the place and requested a police presence on site and verify the situation,” they indicated.
Given this, the patrol unit, with officers Juan Carlos Valerín Gómez and Lizeth Quesada Rojas, responds and a preventive closure is activated in the Chacarita sector at the entrance of 20 de Noviembre, where the gray Hyundai Tucson is located.
“The reason for the police approach is explained to them (the complainants), but they arrogantly and with hostility indicate that they are lawyers and that they (the officers) could not intervene, and that what they were doing was illegal, the occupants of the vehicle are identified (…), where both the vehicle and the occupants are investigated through the ECU platform of the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) and the individuals have no criminal record pending, and no type of criminal arrest warrant for the vehicle, so they allowed free transit. It is important to indicate that the intervention did not last more than 10 minutes”, the Court statement explained.
The magistrates determined that it was not possible to determine that the lawyers were arbitrarily detained, nor that there were no reasons for the detention by the officers of the Fuerza Pública.
“In any case, it is established that the filing parties were held only for the period of 10 minutes, in order to verify their identification and determine that there was no irregularity, which is why it is ruled out that an infringement against of the fundamental rights of the petitioners”, they concluded.