Unity Treasurer Declared Innocent

February 17, 2006

Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC) treasurer Fernán Guardia was found not guilty Wednesday of falsifying documents in a campaign finance scandal with roots in the 2002 election of President Abel Pacheco.

San José judge Elizabeth Tossi determined that Guardia did not falsify documents he gave the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) that included lists of donors who contributed to Pacheco’s campaign.

According to prosecutors, during the 2002 election campaign, Unity used a “parallel structure” to accept large donations and donations from foreigners, in violation of the electoral code. This parallel structure included the use of a complicated web of Panamanian and Costa Rican banks.

Prosecutors charged that Guardia was aware of this structure and gave fake donor lists to the TSE to cover up the sources of questionable funds.

However, the judge in the case said Guardia did not falsify the documents because the material he was responsible for – the reports attached to the lists – were real, including his signature. She said he couldn’t be held responsible for the lists.

Furthermore, his knowledge of the parallel structure and additional bank accounts was not proven, she said.

Carlos Meléndez, the prosecutor in the case, said he disagreed with the ruling and said no one else related to the scandal, which has allegedly involved many Unity leaders, can be brought to trial.

“The only person who had responsibilities is Fernán Guardia, as treasurer. There is no penal type that can be applied to others,” Meléndez said. The possibility remains of TSE sanctions.

 

You may be interested

PHOTOS: International Museum Day in Costa Rica
Arts & Culture
46 views
Arts & Culture
46 views

PHOTOS: International Museum Day in Costa Rica

Mitzi Stark - May 21, 2018

May 18 is International Museum Day, and Costa Rica celebrated with 31 mini-museums all in one at the Casa del…

Costa Rica, Panama refuse to acknowledge Venezuelan election results
Latin America
67 views
Latin America
67 views

Costa Rica, Panama refuse to acknowledge Venezuelan election results

AFP - May 21, 2018

Costa Rica and Panama were two of 14 countries in the Americas to announce they would not acknowledge the results…

5 questions for US painter Suzahn King
Weekend Arts Spotlight
159 views
Weekend Arts Spotlight
159 views

5 questions for US painter Suzahn King

Elizabeth Lang - May 20, 2018

Suzahn King's paintings, known for their intricate details, are currently focused on her surroundings in Costa Rica, a country she…