Judiciary expresses pleasure at conviction of one of its own

Poder Judicial photo Walter Valverde discusses his case after conviction

The judiciary issued congratulatory statements Tuesday after an employee in the anti-drug prosecutor’s office was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The man, Walter Valverde Fernández, was convicted of leaking inside information to two groups of drug traffickers.

The Poder Judicial issued a long press release along with a photo of the convicted man. However, they also said that a Colombian man tried with Valverde was acquitted of drug charges. Prosecutors will appeal that acquittal, they said.

The man who was acquitted is Ricardo Vallejo. He was accused of the same crimes that Valverde faced. Valverde also faced a drug trafficking charge, but the trial tribunal decided that there was insufficient evidence that he was involved in such acts.

The evidence came mainly from an email record and conversations on cellular telephones. Prosecutors said that Valverde leaked confidential information contained in files relating to six cases. The court also concluded that he put in jeopardy the lives of judicial employees.

Valverde was ordered held in preventative detention for six months while the appeals are processed. That is typical in court cases here where a trial court’s decision usually has to be ratified by an appeals panel. The case was in the Tribunal de Juicio de San José.

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