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SUPREME COURT

Complaint filed against 13 deputies

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Lawyers Carlos Herrera Morán and Freddy Pittí head to the Supreme Court to file a complaint against 13 deputies.   Lawyers Carlos Herrera Morán and Freddy Pittí head to the Supreme Court to file a complaint against 13 deputies.
Lawyers Carlos Herrera Morán and Freddy Pittí head to the Supreme Court to file a complaint against 13 deputies. LA PRENSA/Luis García

A criminal complaint against 13 deputies of the National Assembly was presented Wednesday by Carlos Herrera Morán and Freddy Pittí. 

The complaint is for crimes against public administration, said Herrera Morán. 

The document alleges that the deputies improperly distributed donations since the Constitution does not attribute this power to them. 

A decree issued by the Office of the Comptroller General in October 2016, which regulates donations, was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court this month. 

An investigation by La Prensa revealed that the Assembly has disbursed $14 million in grants and $68 million in professional service contracts for jobs that-for the most part-were not completed.

"In the end, the money did not reach the intended destination, it was distributed among the deputies," said Herrera Morán. 

The complaint runs from July 2014 to March 3, 2017, when the Assembly was chaired by Panamenista Adolfo "Beby" Valderrama (2014-2015) and PRD Deputy Ruben De Leon (2015-2017). Both were denounced by Herrera Morán and Pittí. De León was previously denounced by Ernesto Cedeño. 

Pittí and Herrera Morán attached the La Prensa publications to the complaint filed. In addition, they request the magistrates request information from the Comptroller General and the Ministry of Economy and Finance. 

The complaint was also filed against Dalia Bernal, Katleen Levy, Elías Castillo, Miguel Salas, Alfredo Pérez, Carlos Afú, Benicio Robinson, Crescencia Prado, Juan Poveda, Mario Miller and Juan Carlos Arango. The latter is part of a "commission" chosen by the Assembly itself to review the issue. 

"If the Court conducts an accurate investigation, more names will come out," said Pittí. 

Herrera Morán hopes that the CSJ will "demonstrate that there is independence in the rule of law in Panama."

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