Court acquits ex-minister Roberto Dobles of graft
A San José court on Monday acquitted former Environment and Energy Minister Roberto Dobles Mora of all charges that he illegally granted a contract to a private mining company connected to a relative while he was in office.
In 2006, the Environment and Energy Ministry, under Dobles, granted mining company Agricultura Mecanizada Chapernal a five-year permit to extract sand, stone and gravel from the bed of the Aranjuez River in Puntarenas province. Dobles’ uncle is on the board of directors of one of the company’s parent corporations.
The charges were filed based on the country’s Illicit Enrichment Law and the Mining Code, which prohibit public officials from granting permits or contracts to close relatives up to first degree of consanguinity.
Judges ruled that Dobles’ signing of the decree authorizing the mining contract was not unlawful because the company is owned by various corporations, and only one of them is related to one of Dobles’ uncle.
Dobles’ lawyer, José Miguel Villalobos, said the charges were baseless as Dobles only signed the decree as a minister, but the contract was granted by the Energy Ministry’s legal department. He also said the contract did not benefit Dobles as he does not have any relation to the company and therefore he was in compliance with provisions of the Mining Code.
The court also dismissed a ₡500 million ($925,000) civil lawsuit filed against Dobles by the Government Attorney’s office.
In January, Dobles was sentenced in a separate trial to a three-year suspended sentence for breach of public duty in granting the Canadian mining company Infinito Gold an open-pit gold mining concession in Crucitas, in the northern Alajuela canton of San Carlos, in 2008.
The court granted him five years probation during which he is also banned from holding public office.
You may be interested
Twice as nice: Güity wins second gold at Grand PrixAlejandro Zúñiga - May 25, 2019
A day after he placed himself atop the world rankings with his time in the 200-meter T64 at the 2019…
Costa Rica obtains $500 million from CAF for fiscal supportAFP and The Tico Times - May 25, 2019
The Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) on Friday granted a $500 million credit to Costa Rica to support the…
Ballet Festival 2019 part of Costa Rica’s flourishing dance sceneJacob Spetzler - May 24, 2019
A convergence of international ballet classes, performances and meetings manifests this week in the form of the Costa Rican Festival…