High court acts against magistrate accused of leaking decision

The country’s highest court said Monday it would take action against a former replacement magistrate who is accused of giving information to the operators of the Crucitas gold mine.

The former magistrate is Moisés Fachler, but the Poder Judicial did not use his name when it announced the decision of the court. Julia Varela Araya, a magistrate, has been investigating the situation since November 2011. That is when Fachler is accused of giving an advanced text of a Sala I decision to the operators of the gold mine.

The full Corte Suprema de Justicia said that a notation would be made in the personnel file of Fachler that is kept in the personnel department of the Asemblea Legislativa. That effectively means he will not be appointed to the court, even in a replacement role. Lawmakers appoint the magistrates.

The court also said that the Asamblea Legislativa, the Procuraduría de la Etica and the Ministerio Público would be notified. So there is a chance of some kind of legal action.

Some 17 of the 22 magistrates supported the decision. Those who did not were of the Sala I and could not participate because they were witnesses in the investigation.
Anabelle León, president of the Sala I, made the initial complaint.

The Sala I issued a negative decision in the Crucitas case, and the Canadian owner and its Costa Rican subsidiary, Industrias Infinito S.A

The Sala Primera had agreed to hear the appeals of a lower court decision against the Las Crucitas mine. The appeals accepted were from the government, the gold mining firm Infinito and the Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservación, which support the mine. Also accepted were appeals from Asocrucitas, a group that opposes the mine.

Specifically the Sala I declined to reject a lower court decision.

The Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo had found against the company and ordered that its concession be annulled.

This is the mine in north Costa Rica where an estimated 800,000 ounces of gold were to be extracted via the open pit method. Costa Rica later passed a law prohibiting commercial gold extraction.

The mining company is expected to seek international arbitration

This entry was posted in Costa Rica News. Bookmark the permalink.