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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Nogales’ lawyers say Treasury intends to investigate them


Attorney José Andreu Fuentes said he and other members of the legal team he is part of had received confidential information “that high-level officials of the Department of the Treasury intend to criminally investigate these lawyers and [defense witness] Mr. [Ángel] Marzán, as a result of or in retaliation for supposedly, and I quote, having made the Department of the Treasury look bad in a probable cause hearing.”

By The Star Staff


The lawyers representing Citizen Victory Movement Rep. Mariana Nogales Molinelli and Rita Molinelli Freytes, José Andreu Fuentes, Ricardo Prieto García and Frank Torres Viada, alleged on Tuesday that senior officials of the Treasury Department intend to investigate them.


“We and Mr. [Ángel] Marzán have been receiving confidential information from the Department of the Treasury and the government reporting that high-level officials of the Department of the Treasury intend to criminally investigate these lawyers and Mr. Marzán, as a result of or in retaliation for supposedly, and I quote, having made the Department of the Treasury look bad in a probable cause hearing,” Andreu Fuentes said at a press conference.


“We would have received that information, we would have given it consideration, but certainly, we had not made any complaint about it because it had not materialized,” he added.


According to reports, attorneys from the Office of the Special Independent Prosecutor Panel (OPFEI), during a recess that took place on Nov. 9 in the preliminary hearing, said they were evaluating filing criminal charges against the defense expert, Ángel Marzan Santiago. During cross-examination of the expert, he admitted in open court that he filled out tax forms without being authorized.


“This situation is very delicate and really sad because … it has been confirmed that the officials of the Treasury Department, with the complicity of the FEI, are trying to use their governmental power to silence these lawyers, to discredit our expert, to discredit the theory of our case and finally, to harm our clients, Mariana Nogales and Rita Mollinelli,” Andreu Fuentes said. “And that cannot be allowed. That is an abuse of power that violates our rule of law, state and federal laws.”


On Monday, the lawyers sent a letter to Justice Secretary Domingo Emanuelli Hernández in which they communicated their complaints.


“This is not new; apparently it is a pattern that we are seeing in which high-level officials of the Treasury Department have gotten in the habit of retaliating against lawyers who defend constitutional rights and the rights of their client in situations like our case,” Andreu Fuentes said. “We also presented a letter to the Department of Justice to investigate this situation.”


Nogales Molinelli is on trial for allegedly omitting income information from her ethics reports, and for possible tax evasion. She is on trial with her mother and the Ocean corporation.


The Justice Department in a statement said it has not received any referrals from the Treasury Department or from the OPFEI related to the Nogales Molinelli case. The OPFEI and Justice Department are separate entities.

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