In a scandal over the supply of lucrative contracts for telecommunications, justice of Costa Rica on Wednesday sentenced former president Miguel Angel Rodriguez to five years in prison on corruption charges.
Rodriguez, 71, who ruled from 1998 to 2002, was found guilty of instigating a series of millionaires bribes to administration officials in 2001, in exchange for contracts to deliver the telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel said Judge Rosa García.
Rodriguez received $ 500,000 over the $ 14 million delivered between government officials and state executives Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), said prosecutor Criss González.
Rodriguez has denied having accepted bribes or had dealings with Alcatel, saying the accusations were part of a plot against him.
José Antonio Lobo, a former assistant of Rodriguez and former senior executive of ICE, was the main witness in the case, the prosecutor said. Wolf testified that he received more than $ 2 million contract for the delivery of Alcatel, and Rodriguez delivered a part to your request.
Rodriguez admitted having accepted money from Lobo, but only after completing his mandate, and as part of their fundraising to finance his campaign for the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS), which won in 2004, but left after a month in office to deal with corruption charges.
Judge Rosa García, reading the sentence for Rodriguez and seven other defendants, explained that the former president acquittal for a charge of illicit enrichment was based on the principle “in dubio pro reo”, wich means doubts.
For this crime the prosecution requested two years in prison for Rodriguez. Sentences for other defendants were between 5 and 20 years in prison.