Lawmakers decline to press probe of president’s Peruvian flight

Lawmakers ended their investigation into President Laura Chinchilla’s Peruvian airplane trip Thursday and said they were deferring to the efforts of prosecutors.

The action came in the  Comisión Permanente Especial de Control del Ingreso y Gasto Público after Mauricio Boraschi, the former top anti-drug official testified.

María Ocampo Baltodano, a lawmaker, said it would not be convenient to continue the effort while judicial authorities are investigating the case. Not every committee member agreed and some said they were upset because two key persons, Rolando Fonseca and Gabriel Morales, declined to appear.

In his testimony Boraschi again said that he had no knowledge of the trip on the private place by the president and two ministers. Had he known, he would have advised against it, he said, noting that investigators had been looking into the affairs of Morales  since November 2011.

This is the scandal that cost Boraschi, the president’s communications minister and her top aide their jobs because of the ownership of the plane.

The trip was to Peru to attend a wedding of one of the children of a vice president, but Ms. Chinchilla quickly called on the Peruvian president when questions were being asked in San José. Later officials disclosed that Ms. Chinchilla had used the aircraft in the past.

She said the official were fired for jeopardizing the security of the president But the head of the firm that owns the plane said in Colombia that the Presidencia had pushed to use the craft.

The situation is confusing because Morales appears to have used another name during the time he helped negotiate the use of the aircraft. There has been no clear statement if any laws were broken by the trip, although there is a provision against politicians receiving favors. As is usually the case after a disclosure in a newspaper, prosecutors conducted raids and confiscated a boat with little explanation.

Fonseca is a former soccer star and a neighbor of Morales. the plane is owned by a firm that employs Fonseca, THX Energy.

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