By The Star Staff
U.S. District Judge Silvia Carreño Coll has ordered the separation of the conspiracy trials against former governor Wanda Vázquez Garced, financial adviser Mark Rossini and banker Julio Herrera Velutini.
In an order issued Wednesday, the judge determined that counts 1 to 4 of the indictment that accuse the three defendants of a bribery conspiracy should go to trial first.
However, the trial on charges 5 to 7 against Herrera Velutini will be held separately, the judge ordered. Herrera Velutini faces conspiracy charges for allegedly trying to bribe Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia.
The judge denied the request of the former governor and the financial adviser that Herrera Velutini also face a separate trial on charges 1 to 4, since she did not find that the request met legal requirements.
The indictment alleges in the first four counts that Herrera Velutini, with the help of Rossini, bribed Vázquez Garced with primary campaign contributions to remove George Joyner from the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions (OCIF) to stop an investigation into Herrera Velutini’s Bancredit International bank.