27/12/2012 - Attorney General José Ayú Prado today downplayed allegations by Mayte Pellegrini, the main suspect in the embezzlement of funds Financial Pacific, that President Ricardo Martinelli was connected to the scandal.
Pellegrini said that irregularities in the management of the brokerage firm included the existence of a secret account named High Spirit, which was opened to manipulate shares of Petaquilla Minerals. She said that the account was linked to Martinelli.
Ayú Prado reported that he discussed the case with prosecutor Frank Torres, who told him that Pellegrini "had no evidence or clues" that could sustain her assertions.
"The prosecutor informed me, in a colloquial way, that[Pellegrini] had made statements that he could not verify," Ayú Prado said.
Ayú Prado said that everything was "a rumor she heard." He added that Pellegrini "worked on one floor and the rumor was generated three floors above" and that, therefore, she could not point to anydy in particular.
He also said that it was beyond the authority of the office to investigate the president.
He was appointed earlier this month to the Supreme Court by Martinelli.
In a management report presented today, Ayú Prado said there were 103,963 cases handled by his office from january through November.
Of that amount, domestic violence and theft cases were the most common.
There were 14,547 detained in that period, which is 9 percent of the prison population.
Ayú Prado emphasized that one of the great challenges of this institution will be the continued implementation of the accusatory penal system, which began in 2011.
He recalled that the implementation of the new penal system allows quick access to justice, protection of victims, better human rights protection and prompt resolution of conflicts.
According to the jurist, with the new accusatory penal system, the average time for cases to be resolved dropped to 60.4 days from 172.6 days.
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