With the arrest yesterday of a group of 10 people, corresponding to former officials and linked to them, the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic gave the first signs that it will pursue a sanction for acts of corruption and other crimes attributed to incumbents of the past administration government of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) and friends, which has been a cry of citizens.
In a statement sent last night, the Public Ministry said that several of the 10 former officials and front men arrested were destroying and hiding evidence, intimidating witnesses and making financial movements with the purpose of hiding unjustified financial statements.
In the group that the public ministry accuses of administrative corruption, of being front men and having been privileged providers of the State, there are two brothers of former president Danilo Medina.
They are Alexis and Carmen Magalis Medina Sánchez, former vice president of the Capital Fund for Reformed Companies (Fonper).
The list of those accused of corruption and of acting as front men for former officials is completed by the former Minister of Public Health, Freddy Hidalgo; the former director of the State Works Supervisory Office (OISOE), Francisco Pagán; the former president of Fonper, Fernando Rosa; the former Comptroller General of the Republic, Rafael Antonio Germosén Andújar, Aquiles Alejandro Cristofer, Julián Esteban Suriel Suazo, José Dolores Santana Carmona, and Domingo Antonio Santiago Muñoz.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor for the Persecution of Administrative Corruption (PEPCA) established that the defendants took advantage of family ties with the political power to accumulate fortunes during the past period of Danilo Medina’s government.
Early morning operation
The arrests began at dawn yesterday, through raids carried out in their residences, but some were arrested after being subjected to interrogations at the Attorney General’s Office.
The investigations, which are carried out under the current administration of the attorney Miriam Germán Brito, are being led by the head of the PEPCA, Wilson Camacho, and the deputy attorney Yeni Berenice, who directs the National Directorate of Persecution of the Public Ministry, who are supported by a team of prosecutors.
The operation in which the arrests were made was called by the investigators as “Operation anti Octopus”, with the intervention of prosecutors who led the investigations, accompanied by dozens of agents of the elite troops of the National Police, according to the PGR.
The detainees were taken to the preventive prison of the Ciudad Nueva Palace of Justice, located on the fourth level of the building.
The last to be taken was the former president’s brother, Alexis Medina Sánchez, who was transferred in handcuffs after noon yesterday from the Attorney General’s Office. The defendant, in addition to a Covid-19 prevention mask, wore a cap and while he was being taken to jail he remained with his head down to hide his face. He did not give any statements about his arrest.
Mattresses were brought to the compound for the arrested to sleep, since they will remain in that preventive until they are known as a measure of coercion.
The surveillance of that prison is in charge of the agents of the new penitentiary model, after on November 17 the PGR assumed control of that preventive alleging acts of corruption and other irregularities, and transferred its administration to the new system, which was in power of the National District Prosecutor’s Office and judicial security. Pepca said in a statement that the investigation process against the former officials entered a new phase with the arrests of the first defendants and that they will be presented before an investigating judge so that he can hear measures of coercion.
The Attorney General’s Office reported that it will keep the citizens informed in a timely manner, always respecting due criminal process and the rights of the accused.
Relatives and friends of those arrested went to the prosecutor’s office with bags and covers in their hands, to bring food and clothes to the prisoners. But several were not allowed to leave white T-shirts, razors and other items, because they violate protocol.
A doctor was seen leaving the preventive prison who did not give details of the patient who was treated for not being authorized.