Murder of former governor linked to shady land deals
07/05/2013 - The killing of the former governor of Coclé, Darío Fernández Jaén, could be related to a land dispute reported by the official before the public prosecutor.
This was revealed by Yerina Fernández, daughter of the deceased, during her testimony today in the trial of the six people charged with her father's murder.
The witness said that her father learned that his grandmother's name was used for a fraudulent land transaction.
Witnesses in the trial include two former presidents, Martín Torrijos (2004-2009) and Ernesto Pérez Balladares (1994-1999).
At 9 a.m. today the trial began for the six people, including two women, accused of the murder of former Coclé Governor Darío Fernández Jaén on Nov. 6, 2011.
The start of the trial was attended by Attorney General Ana Belfon and Secretary General Ramsés Barrera.
At least 70 witnesses are expected to testify.
In the first phase of the trial both sides made their opening arguments, including the prosecutor's theory of the case.
Prosecutor Roberto Moreno said the governor was killed after he discovered a criminal organization dedicated to land fraud.
Defense lawyers said that there is not sufficient evidence to prove that their clients ran the crime of conspiracy and requested the charges be dismissed.
After opening arguments, the judge declares a recess to resolve a defense motion.
Belfon called the trial historic because it is being undertaken under the criminal accusatory system.
She said she attended to support the prosecutor.