Prosecutor’s Office files embezzlement charges against former Costa Rican President Miguel Ángel Rodríguez

November 21, 2014

Costa Rica’s Prosecutor’s Office on July 30 requested the opening of a judicial investigation of alleged embezzlement charges against ex-President Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Echeverría. The charges were filed before a criminal court in San José, according to the daily La Nación.

Rodríguez, 69, was president of Costa Rica from 1998-2002.

The investigation also includes the president of the National Insurance Institute (INS) Christopher Zawadzki Wojtasiak and Álvaro Acuña Prado, a department manager at INS, confirmed Tatiana Vargas, a spokeswoman with the Prosecutor’s Office.

Rodriguez’s lawyers, Christian Arguedas and Eduardo Araya, said the charges are related to an alleged negotiation with insurance company Guy Carpenter-Reinmex in Mexico. The investigation of this case was initiated in 2001.

The publication also notes that Rodríguez in a press release responded to the charges saying they are “a gross persecution that would be resolved in the courts, and not in any other field.”

It also states that the alleged facts under investigation date back to 2001, and that “in 2005, the Prosecutor’s Office requested its dismissal.”

The judicial investigation originated from alleged payments of approximately $2.1 million received by Rodríguez from 1998-2002 and made by an insurance company with offices in various countries including England and Mexico.

According to the prosecutor’s investigation, Rodríguez’s contacts with the insurance company began before he took office in May 1998.

Rodríguez was forced to resign in 2004 from his post as secretary general of the Organization of American States to stand trial on corruption charges. At the trial, judges found that the ex-president received some $800,000 from the French company Alcatel to be granted a public biding for offering cellphone services in Costa Rica.

He was sentenced in 2011 to five years in prison, but the sentence was revoked, with a court citing statute of limitations and errors in the handling of evidence during the investigation.

You may be interested

Our High Season Print Edition is here! Here’s where to find it
The Tico Times
131 views
The Tico Times
131 views

Our High Season Print Edition is here! Here’s where to find it

Katherine Stanley - December 11, 2017

In the weeks since the relaunch of The Tico Times on Sept. 1, we’ve been hard at work to reconnect…

Bright Lights Boat Parade inaugurates holiday season in Quepos
Events
262 views
Events
262 views

Bright Lights Boat Parade inaugurates holiday season in Quepos

Elizabeth Lang - December 11, 2017

The Bright Lights Boat Parade marked the official kickoff of the holiday season in the Central Pacific town of Quepos…

Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El Salvador
Weather
2646 views
Weather
2646 views

Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El Salvador

AFP - December 10, 2017

Three people have died in Costa Rica, includiing two Swiss tourists, and one in El Salvador as a result of…