WikiLeak rocks Dominican Republic’s high court - Update, The truth will prevail
DominicanToday.com - A WikiLeaks cable reveals that Supreme Court (SJC) president  Jorge Subero revealed to U.S. ambassadors Hans Hertell and Roland Bullen, that SJC vice president Rafael Luciano Pichardo was apparently involved in corruption.

 

 

Newspaper Caribe said the local TV news station SIN provided the cable, which affirms that Subero told the diplomats that Pichardo was trying to alter the ruling in the US$2.5 billion Baninter bank fraud case and that Pichardo had received US$40,000.

Excerpts of the leaked cable Caribe acquired from SIN:

78252 ONFIDENTIAL SANTO DOMINGO 002941 Date of cable: September 13, 2006 (Translation from Spanish)

Summary. In a wide spectrum call recently done by ambassadors Hertell and Bullen (DCM) related to Jorge Subero Isa, president of the Supreme Court of Law), the latter confidentially described the plans for a future strengthening of the judicial sector, detailed the fight against judicial corruption and stressed some of  the most urgent topics on the reform that faces the Dominican Republic at the moment.

After the departure of the personnel pertaining to the Department of State and the USAID which had accompanied the ambassadors, Subero revealed to Hertell and to Bullen that the vice president of the SCJ, Rafael Luciano Pichardo, seems to be deeply involved in the official corruption and is possibly trying to subvert the trial which at present is carried out against the individuals implicated in the fraudulent collapse of the Intercontinental Bank (Baninter), in 2003. However, Subero suggested that the Dominican Government would not take any action against Pichardo. The embassy investigates if the revocation of Pichardo’s visa would be appropriate. End of the summary.

The good news

 (U) Subero started the meeting directly attributing the rise in the Dominican economy (rate of growth of 9% of the GDP) to the improvements in the judicial sector carried out by the programs of the USAID.

He suggested that if it weren’t for the support of the Untied States government, the progress in the fight against the judicial corruption in the last nine years would have been little. His final conclusion was that the “moral assistance” provided by the United States is, in fact, more valuable than the monetary assistance, considering it an “incalculable value.”

The bad news

Although the meeting that followed maintained this perception, it revealed Subero’s Achilles heel, he wasn’t willing to directly confront corruption at the high levels of the Government.

The embassy received, without having requested it, illegal recordings that seem to form part of a campaign of disrepute against Pichardo, with the suggestion that others were trying to influence their votes in the Court. A partial transcription was apparently also given to newspaper Digital Clave.

Although Pichardo’s own recorded comments donot contain any signs of non ethical, illegal activity or judicial, the subsequent article of Clave Digital was sufficiently harmful for the embassy to consider prudent to request Subero’s opinion on the topic.

In response Subero noted that Pichardo had admitted to him, as well as to other judges of the SCJ, that he had accepted $40,000 dollars but didn’t mention anybody’s name, and that it hadn’t been in exchange for anything, explicitly or implicitly.

Subero also noted that two of Pichardo’s sons also were involved by accepting larges sums of money and that he knows that Pichardo asked the judge who headed the criminal trial against Baninter “to have certain flexibility” as far as the motions of the defense.

Subero also believes, but cannot prove it, that the defense lawyer for Baninter, who is also advisor to the President, Vinicio “Vincho” Castillo, is trying to orchestrate Subero’s replacement with Pichardo as head of the SCJ, in an attempt to improve the Court’s inclination towards the Baninter defendant  in appeal.

Drug link

On April 30, 2008 Pichardo’s son Rafael Alberto Luciano Corominas was arrested together with Juan José Martín Gómez, upon returning from Puerto Rico in a small plane, registry HI-831, piloted by Ovalles Tejada, from whom Customs agents seized US$580,000.

 

Related story:

Top official slams ex U.S. ambassador as WikiLeaks scandal explodes

A “horrible perversity” is what the Presidency’s Antinarcotics advisor called ex U.S. ambassador in Dominican Republic Hans Hertell’s accusations in a WikiLeak cable revealed today, and that he has neither the means nor the manner to get Supreme Court president Jorge Subero replaced by justice Rafael Luciano Pichardo.

Marino Vinicio Castillo (Vincho), quoted by news source listin.com.do, said only the National Magistrate Council can effect that change, and that it’s n either his function. “I don’t believe there’s not a shred of truth in what it (WikiLeaks) affirms.”

He said the information contained in the leaked cable relates to the human quality of the ambassador which provides them, merits the official affirms Hertell lacks. “Hans Hertell, lawyer from Puerto Rico, fundraiser in political campaigns, not diplomatic, professional who spent six years here of virtually hanging out, what least seemed an ambassador of the United States in the world was Hans Hertell.”

Castillo, who was defense lawyer in the US$2.5 billion Bainter bank fraud case of 2003 cited in the cables, added he would like to see WikiLeaks’ cables of 2004 during Hipólito Mejía’s presidency.

Sunday

The official pledged to reveal "hidden" facts about Hertell's tenure and his relations with then president Hipolito Mejiav in his TV program La Respuesta (the response) every Sunday.


Reader comment from DominicanToday!!

Written by: Ricardolito, 21 Jul 2011 1:51 PM
From: Dominican Republic, vieja Santo Domingo
I really have a hard time beieving many things that Vincho says ..he was the lawyer defending Baninter and was trying to get a good result for the accused, he was the presidents advisor when the pardon was given to the Baninter convict and he was always blaming the USA for giving protection to Figueroa and he is the advisor on drugs when there is a record of less than 5 % success ,,in the Presidents own words..he was the person that did nothing about the former Army officer deported from the USA, then who worked in the Presidents office and assisted Figueroa, He seems to have an answer for everything but anyone with any integrity would call it a day and retire with such a history ... I am sure he will say like the judges that he could have earned much more in private practice...that also seems a ridiculous suggestion that any successful lawyer would give away much income to just be a judge or advisor on a low salary.
 
 

UPDATE - The truth will prevail, stay tuned!

Diplomatic cables from the United States embassy in Santo Domingo link retired general Manuel de Jesus Florentino to narcotics trafficker Quirino Paulino (El Don), extradited to New York February,19, 2005, charged with the 1,387 kilos  of cocaine seized in December, 2004.

The confidential information sent by ex ambassadors Hans Hertell and Robert Fannin, filtered by WikiLeaks and divulged by local news source Noticias SIN, also revel Washington’s mistrust of the generals Héctor Medina Medina, Rafael Bencosme Candelier and retired admiral Jose Muñoz Monción.

On February 11, 2005 Hertell reports that “three possible promotions which caused serious concern for the US weren’t carried out,” referring to the possibility of Medina Medina being designated Minister of the Armed Forces; Bencosme Candelier wasn’t tapped as Chief of the National Police and Muñoz Monción as head of the Navy.

The ambassador, reporting on his conversations with president Leonel Fernandez, that the chief executive considered Florentino “a serious and correct officer” of whom he wasn’t aware of his association with drug trafficking.

Florentino had been head of the National Investigations Department, the Presidential Guard and Minister of the Armed Forces.

“Commenting on the Armed Forces, Fernandez said that it was common knowledge that senior offices take 10% from the funds which pass through their hands as “commission,” adding that the Armed Forces is “a corrupt” institution, the cable says.

The cables filtered by WikiLeaks also reveal the United States concern with piracy in Dominican Republic and requested a halt to alleged illegal broadcasts by Telemicro, channel 5.

The cables also note that Fernandez felt that Jose Serulle Ramia, then ambassador in Haiti, “wasn’t being totally faithful to the guidelines of Dominican policies.”

“Fernandez noted that Serrulle, like others in his family, is a little crazy and emotional and half jokingly commented that he wouldn’t be surprised if Serrulle considered himself a viable candidate for the presidency of Haiti.”

Foreign minister Carlos Morales also informed to the United States, in conversations in early 2005, that “Serrulle was useless and crazy and said that he would be fired in the next two weeks.”

The May 6, 2005, cable states that president Fernandez would travel to Washington May 11 to 12 for the first time since taking office in August 2004, for which he managed to be greeted by then president George W. Bush, because “not being received by the American president in his first visit, the commentators and the politicians would interpret any visit to Washington as a personal rebuke and a failure of his administration”

An August 27, 2008, report sent by then ambassador Robert Fannin states mistrust in then Industry and Commerce minister Jose Ramon (Monchy) Fadul. It says that when Fadul was the Minister of Labor “seemed misinformed on important topics.”

As to the firing of then Education Minister Alejandrina German, Fannin notes: “allegations of corruption against her.”

“She (German) was accused of multiple cases of corruption, including a case which involved a company linked to her daughter who allegedly sold millions of dollars of nutritionally deficient lunches to the Government.”

 

 

Dominican Watchdog Note: What does the President know about all this? He was also involved in BANINTER, the world's largest banking scandal messured by GDP....  There is nothing new about the WikiLeak exposures, except that the well known truth is now confirmed! The DR runs on drugs and corruption!

 

More Wikilead Dominican scandals

Go back | Date: 26 Jul 2011
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