State prosecutors have requested that a corruption probe against ex-President José María Figueres (1994-1998) be dismissed for lack of evidence.
Since 2004, state prosecutors have been investigating Figueres for allegedly receiving $900,000 from the French telecom giant Alcatel, which was awarded a $149 million contract to operate cell phone lines here.
Judicial Branch spokesman Fabian Barrantes said state prosecutors requested last week that the financial branch of the country’s criminal court dismiss the case, though the court has yet to decide whether it will do so.
Figueres, who has been living in Switzerland since 2004, has maintained that he received the money legally for consulting services, though he hasn’t come to the country to appear for questioning in the investigation (TT, Oct. 29, Nov. 5 2004).
Figueres’ attorney Mario Soto told the daily La Nación that Figueres plans to return to the country early next year. He said Figueres hadn’t returned since the case opened because he didn’t want to expose himself to attacks from his political foes here.