Public Prosecutor says Ángel Rondón has no proof of lawful work as Odebrecht advisor

The Odebrecht US$92 million bribes case is in its final phase with prosecutors and defense lawyers for the six accused presenting their concluding statements, as reported in Hoy.

In concluding statements in the Odebrecht US$92 million bribes case, Mirna Ortiz, director of litigation for the Public Prosecutor’s Office said in court that the main accused Ángel Rondón has not been able to present proof he carried out lawful work for which he was paid most of the US$92 million Odebrecht admitted in a court having paid to advance contract work in the country.

On Monday, 26 July 2021, the Public Prosecutor’s Office says that Ángel Rondón Rijo was paid to distribute the US$92 million to officials and legislators to ensure contracting was allotted to the Brazilian construction company. Ortiz said the defense could not offer documentation that supported the role that the businessman served as commercial advisor to the firm. She said this was so because his true role was to pay the bribes, an illicit act that could not be registered on paper.

“Where are the documents that endorse his consultancies and advisories?,” the prosecutor questioned before the judge. “Ángel Rondón’s function has no support as an intermediary and advisor because that function consisted in making illicit agreements, in receiving money from Odebrecht with the objective of paying legislators and ministers for the illegal procurement of these works and for that one cannot leave a trace,” she stressed.

Ortiz said that proof that bribes were indeed paid in the Dominican Republic was the success of the construction company in winning the most important infrastructure projects in the country.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office pointed out that Rondón constituted a corporate framework made up of 30 companies to launder the illicit money obtained through bribes.

The Prosecutor’s Office is scheduled to complete the accusatory statements on Wednesday, 28 July 2021. Next Monday, 2 August, Rondón and his defense will present their final arguments before the judges presiding over the First Collegiate Court of the National District.

Rondón will have a total of six days to present his conclusions. Then it will be the turn for the five other defendants. These are former Public Works minister Víctor Díaz Rúa, former senators Andrés Bautista and Tommy Galán, former government dam director (Indrhi) Roberto Rodríguez, and lawyer Conrado Pittaluga Arzeno. The presentations should be over by 16 September.

Odebrecht admitted in a New York City court that in 2016 it had paid US$92 million in bribes to Dominican politicians to motivate 16 public works contracts, including roads, hydroelectric dams and aqueducts, for budgets of around US$3.86 billion.

The Brazilian company reached an agreement with the Dominican Attorney General’s Office in 2017 for which it agreed to pay US$184 million in several installments, double what it admitted to having delivered in bribes in the country. The company delivered only US$60 million of the total to the Attorney General Office under former Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez.

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El Caribe

27 July 2021