San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Ex-President Calderón Set For Corruption Trial

Costa Rica is set to watch another former president face the judges.

A high court said the trial will start Nov. 3 for the CCSS-Fischel case, in which top figures such as former president Rafael Calderón Jr., who during his 1990-1994 term allegedly accepted payment for helping a Finnish medical equipment firm sell goods worth $39.5 million to the national public health care system.

Calderón has already acknowledged receiving $520,000 from Walter Reich, then president of the pharmacy Fischel.

But Calderón, a lawyer who is likely to run again for president with the Social Christian Unity Party, said the money was legitimate payment for legal services rendered.

The announcement follows the start Monday of preliminary hearings for ex-President Miguel Angel Rodríguez, suspected of involvement during his term from 1998 to 2002 in an alleged payoff between French cell phone company Alcatel and the Costa Rican Electricity Institute, the country’s telecom monopoly.

–EFE and Tico Times reports


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