QCOSTARICA – On Wednesday, the Goicoechea Trial Court sentenced former perennial presidential candidate and legislator, Otto Guevara, to three years in prison for four crimes of sworn falsehood. In addition, he was disqualified from holding public office for six years.
“Otto Guevara is declared responsible for four crimes of falsehood in the sworn statement, in material competition, to the detriment of the duties of the public function. As the main penalty, he is imposed one year in prison for each of the crimes for a total sentence of four years, which by application of the penalty rules of material competition for crimes is set at three years in prison,” said the judge in charge of reading the sentence.
Guevara was granted a suspended sentence for a period of five years, during this time he cannot commit intentional crimes punishable by penalties greater than six months in prison; failing to comply, it will be revoked and he will have to serve a three-year sentence in jail.
In addition, Guevara will also have to pay the State the amount of 10 million colones, after a civil action for compensation has been declared by the Comptroller General of the Republic for the crimes committed.
The Public Ministry accused Otto Guevara for not providing information about a corporation in the Virgin Islands, in which he was listed as a shareholder. This, according to the accusation, occurred while he was a legislator in the 2014-2018 period, when he was a representative of the Partido Movimiento Libertario.
Currently, the legislator is a candidate for deputy for the next period (2022-2026) for the Partido Unión Liberal, to which if his sentence is firmed up he will not be able to hold office if elected.
Guevara denies any wrongdoing and blames a cartel linked to the “cementazo” corruption case for wanting him out of public office.
The former presidential candidate and legislator is currently under investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office (Ministerio Publico) for the alleged crime of influence peddling in “caso cementazo”, the cement scandal of the previous government that includes Juan Carlos Bolaños and the former legislator Morales Zapata.
Investigators are waiting on a court order to review Guevara’s telephone to listen to carry out a judicial analysis of the constat constant calls between Guevara and Bolaños.
Guevara has said publicly he will appeal the sentence and will continue with his election campaign.