The Dominican Republic's prosecutor's office on Tuesday June 27 requested sentences of up to 10 years in prison against the six defendants including a former minister in the context of the trial of the bribery scandal of the Brazilian giant of BTP Odebrecht to obtain contracts in the country.
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Four politicians including a former Minister of Public Works, a businessman and a lawyer are in the box of the accused for these embezzlements which reached 92 million dollars (82 million euros) between 2002 and 2014 in the Dominican Republic . At the end of this three-year procedure, the prosecution asked for 10 years in prison for Angel Rondon, businessman, sales representative of Odebrecht, who distributed the bribes, but also 10 years for Victor Diaz Rua, former Minister of Public Works. The prosecution also requested 7 years in prison against Conrado Pittaluga, Victor Diaz Rua's lawyer and 5-year sentences for two former senators Andres Bautista y Tommy Galan, and a former civil servant. The prosecution called for fines of 35.000 dollars per accused and restitution of illegally acquired property.
The verdict is expected in August or September.
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The Odebrecht scandal, which affected members of the main political parties, is considered one of the biggest corruption scandals in the country's history. This mega-scandal of corruption splashes many Latin American countries, where investigations have been opened locally in connection with Brazilian justice. Behind Brazil and Venezuela, the Dominican Republic is the country where Odebrecht has paid the most bribes. In 2017, Odebrecht signed an agreement with the prosecution including the payment of 184 million dollars in compensation and his collaboration in the search for the perpetrators. In exchange, justice had undertaken not to prosecute the company or its leaders. In October 2020, the government suspended all contracts with Odebrecht and its subsidiaries.
The Dominican Republic ranks 137th out of 180 in the Global Corruption Perceptions Index of the NGO Transparency International.