San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Chief Prosecutor Named ‘Newsmaker of the Year’

THE daily newspapers La Nación andAl Día have both named Chief ProsecutorFrancisco Dall’Anese “Newsmaker of theYear.”Both publications cited Dall’Anese’shand in investigating the cases of allegedcorruption involving former governmentofficials that have recently captivated thenation’s attention and made internationalheadlines.The Chief Prosecutor is investigatingformer Presidents Rafael Angel Calderón(1990-1994) and Miguel Angel Rodríguez(1998-2002) on accusations they – and otherhigh-ranking officials – allegedly accepted“prizes” and “commissions” for governmentcontracts awarded to private companies.Upon being named Newsmaker of theYear, Dall’Anese,44, told Al Día thatsince being namedChief ProsecutorNov. 24, 2003, hehas gained weightand a few grayhairs, because of thehard work.The 44-year-oldfather also told AlDía that despite therumors, he is notconsidering runningfor President of CostaRica, and called the country “saved” fromhis candidacy.Officials from Universidad Nacional,in Heredia north of San José, dedicated thepublic university’s graduation ceremonyyesterday to Dall’Anese and his worktoward greater government transparency.Although Dall’Anese denied being partof what critics call a political “show”regarding the corruption scandals, he didadmit to Al Día there is a leak of informationfrom the Prosecutor’s Office he hasbeen unable to stop.La Nación selected six other figures asnewsmakers this year: former PresidentsCalderón and Rodríguez – who are both inpreventive detention in La Reformaprison; former Social Security (Caja) chiefEliseo Vargas, former Costa RicanElectricity Institute (ICE) board memberJosé Antonio Lobo, and former PresidentJosé Maria Figueres (1994-1998) – whoare all under investigation for allegedinvolvement in the corruption scandals –and Comptroller General Alex Solís, whothe Legislative Assembly is asking toresign because of allegations he forgedsignatures when he worked as an attorneyin the Southern Zone.Al Día named some of these figures asnewsmakers, as well as Costa Rica’snational soccer team, which last monthadvanced to the final round of world cupqualifiers (TT, Nov. 19).

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