Chief prosecutor to give explanation to magistrates

Another scandal is brewing, and the characters are well-known:

Rodrigo Arias Sánchez, the brother of the former president who has his own aspirations for the next election,

Jorge Chavarría Guzmán, the new fiscal general and a long-time executive in the Poder Judicial,

José María Tijerino, the security minster.

La Nación, the daily newspaper, revealed Friday that prosecutors canceled an interrogation session to which Rodrigo Arias had been invited. Chavarría, who had been confirmed but had not yet taken office, appears to have been the person who caused the prosecutors to back down. The session, called an indagatoria in Spanish, is a formal aspect of an investigation here. It carries much more weight than a simple questioning.

Tijerino said in a statement that Rodrigo Arias asked him to intercede with Chavarría but that he declined to do so because he respects the division of powers. He did say he made calls to another prosecutor.

Chavarría who was selected by magistrates of the Corte Suprema de Justicia Oct. 4, only took office Oct. 16. The questioning of Rodrigo Arias was supposed to take place Oct. 8. The new fiscal general has been summonsed to give his version to the full court today.

The investigation, which is believed to have been started again, involves the activities of Rodrigo Arias when he was his brother’s minster of the Presidencia. Then he and his brother authorized contracting a number of workers with funds from the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica. The contract agreements were outside the budget and the contracts did not have the review that government agreements receive.

Many of the jobs were designed to advance the approval of the Central American Free Trade Agreement. Legislative opponents of that agreement already are calling for Chavarría to resign.

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