Tuesday, 1 December 2020

She Said. He Said. And He Said. Now They Will Say.

Epsy Campbell (right) reacts to declarations by Daniel Soley (centre) during Thursday's legisative comission hearings.
Epsy Campbell (right) reacting to Daniel Soley’s (centre) statements during Thursday’s legislative commission hearings. Photo La Nacion

QCOSTARICA – For the last two days a legislative commission has been trying to make sense of the political mess surrouding the alleged attempt to push out the Procuradora General (Attorney General), Ana Lorena Brenes, by the Ministro de la Presidencia (Chief of Staff), Melvin Jimenez and his now former deputy minister, Daniel Soley.

The legislative commission began hearings on Wednesday with the appearances of Brenes, followed by Jimenez, who was asked to reappear on Thursday, and then by Soley.

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After hours of declarations, questions, debate, etc. we no closer to the truth, only more confused.

Each has a completely different version than the other.

She said. He said. And he said.

The commission, at the close of Thursday, decided that Brenes and Soley should appear side by side.

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The two will now say.

Political lines are being drawn. Some believe completely in the words of the Attorney General, stopping short of calling the minister and former minister liars. Others, are maintaining political alliances by siding with the powers of government.

While Brenes maintains that she felt “threatened”, saying under oath that she was offered a series of “plum” assignments in exchange for her quitting her current post, Jimenez indirectly accuses Brenes of lying, while Soley said, “I did not offer her (Brenes) any Embassy (…).”

President Luis Guillermo Solís has washed his hands of the mess, saying it is a matter for the legislators to sort out.

At the centre of the mess is the denunciation by Brenes that Soley offered her an ambassadorship at any one of the five embassies that currently are without an ambassador; or she couldd have an executive position at a State agency; or a board seat at a new hospital. All are in return for her leaving the Attorney’s General office to make way for a new appointment.

Brenes, appointed to the post by former President Laura Chinchilla, has some 18 months to go at her post.

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Attorney General, before going public, says she discussed the matter with President Solís on his return from an official trip to China. Brenes says the President promised her action on the matter.

Last week, days after the controversy became public,Daniel Soley resigned as deputy minister of the Presidency.

But the story didn’t end there.

The legislative commission delving into the matter is made up of legislators from the various political parties, that includes high-profile legislators like Antonio Alvaro Desanti (PLN) and Epsy Campbell (PAC),and former presidential candidates, Ottón Solís (PAC) and Otto Guevara (ML).

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