Former President and Secretary Gral of OAS on trial charged for bribes from french Alcatel
Former President of Costa Rica and former Secretary Gral of the OAS, Miguel Angel Rodríguez
Former Costa Rican President Miguel Angel Rodriguez went on trial Wednesday in a corruption case that forced him to resign as head of the Organization of American States six years ago.
The trial, which the 70-year-old Rodriguez called political persecution, was then recessed until Monday after one of his eight co-defendants became ill.
Rodriguez is charged with taking bribes in exchange for giving the Latin American branch of the French telecom company Alcatel a $149 million cell phone contract with the Costa Rican Electricity Institute while he was president in 2001.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of four years in prison. However, Rodriguez would be unlikely to go to jail if convicted because Costa Rica generally provides probation to those with no criminal record who get sentenced to four years or less.
After ending his term as president in 2002, Rodriguez became head of the OAS. He resigned in 2004 after less than a month on the job and returned to Costa Rica to face the corruption charges.
Rodriguez said he hoped to demonstrate his innocence, but added that he feared he would be convicted.
“What one wants to make clear is that there is… READ MORE HERE.