Spanish version

JUDICIAL AFFAIRS

Former PAN director implicates more in corruption probe

Rafeal Guardia Jaén says he acted on orders from the Presidency of the Republic.

Spanish version

Temas:

Some 80 current and former politicians have now been linked to irregularities in the purchase of food by the National Assistance Program (PAN).

According to sources, the list recently expanded after testimony was given by former PAN Director Rafael Guardia Jaén Monday. In that interview, he gave details on the orders he received about the contracts issued by the agency, saying he was told to use one of three vendors. 

He also said that politicians ordered most of the bags of food during January, February, March and April 2014, during the electoral campaign. He claimed his role was limited to managing the requests, following the orders of the Presidency of the Republic.

Guardia Jaén has been charged with corruption and embezzlement. However, his lawyer, Víctor Orobio, said he should not be charged with embezzlement because he did not receive any benefit from the purchases.

The agency spent an average of $9 million on bags of food in January, February and March, then spent $16.7 million in April, a month before the election. 

Electoral Tribunal Judge Erasmo Pinilla said Thursday that these crimes need to be punished or state resources will continue to be abused.

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