U.S. likely to participate in judicial wiretapping unit

The U.S. Embassy is expected to provide some support for the judiciary’s new telephone eavesdropping center.

Anne S. Andrew, the U.S. ambassador here, met with Luis Paulino Mora, president of the Corte Suprema de Justicia. With the ambassador were two U.S. anti-drug employees.

The Poder Judicial, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad and the Instituto Costarricense contra las Drogas agreed last week on the outline of how the project would be financed. It will be located on court property in San Joaquín de Flores de Heredia.

Officials see the center as a tool for catching organized crimes including drug traffickers. Costa Rica does not yet have cheap, disposable cell telephones that drug gangs use elsewhere to defeat eavesdropping.

The extent of the U.S. participation in the project was not mentioned in a summary from the Poder Judicial, but the donation of some equipment is likely. The center will cost about $1.5 million. It has been in the works for years.

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