President of Dominican Republic Grasps for Legal Counsel as Odebrecht Scandal Gets Closer

June 12, 2017

June, 5 2017 (Panampost)

ESPAÑOLPresident of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina is feeling the heat of the country’s Odebrecht scandal, meeting with his lawyer and friend Ramón Antonio (Negro) Veras for counsel following a wave of arrests.

Fourteen people have been detained in the case so far — including ex-officials, political leaders, businessmen and one minister — just two weeks after the Attorney General’s Office received information from the Brazilian company about who it offered bribes.

Authorities said recently that 10 of the arrested people are directly connected to bribes. Prosecutor Jean Alain Rodríguez said other crimes include embezzlement, illicit enrichment and money laundering, among others.

The government has come under heavy scrutiny following the news, calling for officials to feel the full force of the law.

Among the detainees are Minister of Industry and Commerce and former Minister of Economy Temístocles Montás; former President of the Senate and current Head of the Modern Revolutionary Party (which is the country’s main opposition movement) Andrés Bautista, former Minister of Public Works Víctor Díaz Rúa and ex-Deputy Ruddy González.

Odebrecht’s representative in the country Ángel Rondón was also arrested for making illegal campaign contributions.

Others accused of alleged links to the case are Senators Julio César Valentín, Tommy Galán and former President of the lower house Alfredo Pacheco.

Also included are the executive vice presidents of the Dominican Corporation of State Electricity Companies, Radhamés Segura and César Sánchez as well as former Senator and Director of the National Institute of Drinking Water,Roberto Rodríguez.

Lawyer Conrado Pittaluga and former Manager of the Dominican Hydroelectric Generation Company Máximo De Óleo were also arrested.