Spanish version

INTERNATIONAL

Odebrecht investigation expands

So far 14 people have been jailed.

Spanish version

Temas:

Ángel Rondón Ángel Rondón
Ángel Rondón Erika Santelices

The Dominican Attorney General's Office said it would keep the investigation open to determine if other people received illegal payments from the Brazilian company. 

The institution said in a statement Wednesday that in parallel to the judicial proceedings it have resulted in 14 arrests this week, it will continue its investigations to find possible companies or individuals that have been linked to the corruption scheme. Odebrecht executives revealed that they paid bribes for $788 million in 12 countries to get state contracts. 

In the Dominican Republic, these payments amounted to $92 million. 

On Friday, the Attorney General's Office requested 18 months of pre-trial detention for 14 people, including current Minister of Commerce Temístocles Montás, politicians, three lawmakers, high-level ex-officials and businessman Ángel Rondón, who served as Odebrecht's trade representative in the country. 

According to the agency, each of those involved would have committed crimes including bribery, illicit enrichment and money laundering. 

Thirteen of the 14 defendants detained since Monday and Tuesday night were brought before a special court to have their arrest readmitted. The other accused is traveling in Panama, so the authorities sent an alert to Interpol. 

Prior to the hearing, another court rejected the habeas corpus petition filed by Minister Montás, in which he requested his release on the grounds that his detention was irregular. 

Judge Francisco Ortega Polanco determined a recess until June 6 so that the defendants can examine the evidence against them. 

"At this time we have not received the file," said Carlos Salcedo, a lawyer for Andrés Bautista, president of the opposition Partido Revolucionario Moderno, who has been detained because several Odebrecht contracts were approved when he was a member of the Senate. Reinaldo Pared, president of the Senate, announced that yesterday afternoon the upper house would begin to debate the request of the Prosecutor's Office to withdraw parliamentary immunity to two senators. 

The lower house has not informed when it will debate the withdrawal of immunity to the only deputy facing charges. 

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