• The Star Staff

Special Independent Prosecutor Panel: Deadline for appointment of an SIP in Apex General case

By John McPhaul


Special Independent Prosecutor Panel (PFEI by its Spanish initials) President Nydia Cotto Vives said Monday that the deadline has not yet been reached for determining whether the appointment of an independent special prosecutor in relation to the failed purchase of COVID-19 test kits by Apex General Contractors.

“A couple of months ago, as soon as we received the referral from the [House] Health Committee, we appointed an investigating prosecutor who is not an independent special prosecutor,” Cotto Vives said in a radio interview (Radio Isla 1320 AM). “The difference is that this investigator does the preliminary investigation that Justice was responsible for. Having not counted on this preliminary investigation, we appointed attorney Crisanta González to conduct it and recommend to the panel, if appropriate and proper, the appointment of an independent special prosecutor. The term that the attorney González has [for making a recommendation] expires soon, this October 19.”

Cotto Vives stated that the investigation in the case against Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced regarding food supplies after Hurricane Maria should also be delivered on Oct. 19, but due to prosecutors’ heavy workload, it is likely that they will ask for additional time.

The head of the PFEI also said the prosecutors in the Telegram chat case, which led to the resignation of Ricardo Rosselló Nevares as governor of Puerto Rico, will need an additional 15 days to present a detailed report.

“The prosecutors presented the panel with a brief where they say they are already concluding their case,” Cotto Vives said. “However, they needed a short additional 15 days to submit their report. That 15-day term expires on October 27. But this case is [already] before special independent prosecutors. The Telegram chat, as it came with a preliminary investigation of the Department of Justice, there the prosecutors Miguel Colón and Leticia Pabón were appointed to carry out a thorough investigation.”

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