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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor sees ‘agendas’ at work in criticism of special independent prosecutor panel

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Monday that criticism of the performance of the Office of the Special Independent Prosecutor Panel (OPFEI by its Spanish initials) is the result of “agendas.”

“If, when we look at the conviction statistics of the special independent prosecutors, they exceed 90 percent of the cases they handle,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “In other words, one should not be reaching such conclusions because of the preliminary outcome of a particular case. In other words, we must respect that institution.”

“It is, by the way, the raison d’être of the FEI panel to ensure impartiality in prosecuting cases of a criminal nature against high-ranking officials in the government,” Pierluisi added. “So the alternative cannot be and will not be while I am governor, to return [the OPFEI] to the Department of Justice. Again, here what we often have is agendas; that is, for the moment, because they do not like the institution or some cases in particular, they want to tear down an institution that is very important because, again, it ensures that power is not abused when it comes to investigating, prosecuting officials and former high-ranking officials of the government.”

After the result of the hearings on cause for arrest against Citizen Victory Movement Rep. Mariana Nogales Molinelli, in which cause was found for only two of a possible 24 charges, and against Popular Democratic Party Sen. Albert Torres Berríos, in which no cause was found in the four charges filed, demand increased in some quarters for eliminating the OPFEI or revising its enabling law.

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