Spanish version

JUDICIAL AFFAIRS

Ayú Prado could still be removed from FP case

There are ways to petition to have a judge removed from a case.

Spanish version

Temas:

While he has pledged to continue as the judge in the case involving former President Ricardo Martinelli and failed brokerage firm Financial Pacific (FP), Supreme Court Chief Justice José Ayú Prado could still be removed.

Objections to his handling of the case have been raised due to the fact that Martinelli appointed him to the court and because he investigated the case while he was attorney general. In fact, one witness said that Ayú Prado specifically pressured her to recant testimony linking Martinelli to the case.

Administrative Prosecutor Rigoberto González believes that Ayú Prado must consult with the other judges before deciding whether or not to continue.

Former Supreme Court Justice Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño explained that motions to remove Ayú Prado can also be filed by the complainant, in this case the Superintendency of Securities, as well as by prosecutor Hernán de León.

The court has already issued a statement that it has not found any conflict of interest in the case and that Ayú Prado will not be removed.

González said while he understands and respects the position of the court, he said the case could present a number of ethical issues. For this reason, he said it would be better for Ayú Prado to step down.

"In cases like this, it would be best for the other judges to handle the decisions," he said, adding that the court at least needs to address the issue in a transparent manner "so as not to tarnish the objectivity with which the case is being handled."

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