Possibly fearing that he may flee Costa Rica to avoid facing charges of alleged rape and sexual abuse, once again the Fiscalía de Género (Prosecutor’s Office for Gender) requested on Wednesday that former president Oscar Arias be prevented from leaving the country while the investigation continues against him.
The request was made before the Pavas Criminal Court, in which the former president was present for the private hearing.
Although it was not possible to know in detail what the Fiscalia based its request, defense lawyer Erick Ramos said: “We are respectful of the position of the Public Ministry, but we cannot share it because there is no procedural need for that or any other precautionary measure.”
The lawyer added that, “Under that circumstance, the precedents of the Constitutional Chamber and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights are very clear in establishing that the only way to restrict the freedom of a citizen is under the aspect of procedural necessity, in this case, it is not necessary and for that we have opposed to the request of the Public Ministry”.
At the end of the hearing, the judge told the parties that she will notify the parties of her decision in writing.
This is the second time the Fiscalia has requested an “impedimento de salida” against Arias. The first request was turned down.
Arias has been formally accused of rape by Dr. Alexandra Arce von Herold and sexual abuse by Jazmín Morales Camacho, who was crowned Miss Costa Rica in 1994. The cases are being processed in the same file.
Another seven women have come forward with their story of sexual misconduct by Arias, though they have not filed any formal complaint.