RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The former attorney general of the Dominican Republic, Jean Alain Rodriguez, was sent on Tuesday (13) to preventive detention for 18 months for his alleged involvement in a corruption scheme that allegedly took place while he was head of that agency.
Along with Rodriguez, three other former officials of the Attorney General’s Office were sent to preventive detention. In contrast, Judge Kenya Romero ordered the house arrest of three others implicated in the case, known as Operation Medusa.
Rodriguez, who held one of the most important positions in the Dominican Republic’s judicial system between 2016 and 2020, left the hearing in silence, handcuffed, wearing a helmet and bulletproof vests, and escorted by a strong police device.
To support the request for preventive detention, the Public Prosecutor’s Office argued that the former prosecutor has publicly expressed that he knew about the investigation.
“The Public Prosecutor’s Office values the judge’s decision since the magistrate accepted the evidence we presented and understood that the accused sent to prison present danger of flight and danger for the destruction of evidence”, added the prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso, in charge of the case, at the exit of the court.
The Prosecutor’s Office has assured that Rodriguez destroyed evidence and files of the Attorney General’s Office in the last months, using computer programs that the alleged implicated used outside the institution.
Also, as a “mockery” of the authorities, Rodriguez kept some bananas in his safe for the police and prosecutors who raided his home and office on June 29 to find.
A few days before his arrest, Rodriguez attempted to take a flight out of the Dominican Republic but was prevented by authorities at Santo Domingo’s international airport, in a controversial decision since no warrant had been issued against him.
The group is accused of allegedly forming a criminal network that, according to preliminary estimates, defrauded the Dominican state of more than US$100 million.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office also accuses them of allegedly diverting funds through seized and confiscated assets, overvaluations for purchasing goods and real estate, adulteration, and formatting of data from administrative departments.
He also accuses him of using funds from the Attorney General’s Office for a movement to support the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), the party of former President Danilo Medina, now in opposition.
Rodriguez, a PLD leader, has also been heavily criticized by the Attorney General’s Office’s current heads for the way he handled the investigation of the corruption case involving the Odebrecht construction company, for which some members of his party are under investigation.