Alcatel case will get another airing at an appeals court hearing

Former president Miguel Ángel Rodríguez and six others will have another session in an appeals court over what is known as the Alcaltel case.

The Sala Tercera has remanded to a Tribunal de Apelación the decision of the trial court in the Segundo Circuito Judicial de San José.

The initial trial court convicted Rodríguez of bribery and four other counts of illegal enrichment.  This was an unusual case in which the president and members of the board of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad were accused of steering a contract for new cell telephone lines to Alcatel.

An Alcatel executive was convicted in the case in the United States. The appeals court declared the former president to be innocent. The Sala Tercera agreed on four allegations but ordered the appeals court to look closer on the bribery allegation.

The appeals court was asked to study proofs that were brought from Panamá involving bank accounts in which bribery was said to have passed through. The appeals court said that this information should not have been considered.

Rodríguez was president from 1990 to 2002. The initial trial ended in 2011. He has written a book about his personal ordeal. He also had to step down as secretary general of the Organization of American States when the scandal broke.

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