San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Ex-Chief of Staff Rodrigo Arias testifies about alleged public funds mismanagement

Former Presidency Minister (Chief of Staff) Rodrigo Arias testified Tuesday before the Public Ministry, as part of an ongoing investigation against him for alleged public funds mismanagement.

Authorities are investigating if Arias used a $2 million donation granted by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration to hire consultants at his own discretion in 2008 (TT, Feb. 04).

The hearing lasted about two hours, according to the daily La Nación. Prosecutors from the transparency and anti-corruption division of the Public Ministry consider Arias to be a suspect of embezzlement and fraud, according to a press release issued by the ministry.

Arias was accompanied by his lawyer Francisco Castillo and his personal assistant Pablo Guerén. His testimony was similar to the one he provided on May 4 to the special legislative commission that investigated the same case, reports La Nación (TT, May 04).

In the past months, Arias has decreased his public exposure and declined to talk if he plans to run for president in 2014.

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