Spanish version

JUDICIAL AFFAIRS

Sentence for vote buying handed down

The case involved an election in Herrera.

Spanish version

Temas:

Two years and four months after the general elections of 2014, Judge Ingrid Murgas Torraza sentenced former CD deputy candidate Heriberto Yunito Vega and alternate Ramón Saavedra last week to three years in prison for vote buying and the use of state resources in an election. 

Vega, who was running for office in Herrera, is the second high-profile person to be sanctioned for election crimes. In April, fellow CD member Nidia Cureña was fined and disqualified from holding public office for a year for irregularities in Los Santos, where she was seeking re-election as a representative.

Vega, whose companies were awarded close to $23 million in contracts under the administration of former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), is considering an appeal of the sentence or a reduction.

Under the sentence, he cannot run for office in 2019.

According to the ruling, Murgas Torraza based the decision on testimony from people who witnessed the delivering bags of food to voters. There was also evidence that checks were written to individuals from the local community board.

In the ruling, Murgas Torraza said that there was evidence that state resources were used for political purposes.

Marilín Melgar, the attorney for Vega, has been notified of the decision. The lawyer said it will be analyzed before a decision is made whether or not to appeal it.

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