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Chief Prosecutor calls for corruption probe of lawmaker

February 14, 2013

Costa Rican Chief Prosecutor Jorge Chavarría ordered Wednesday evening a raid at the office of Presidency Minister Carlos Ricardo Benavides, whose computer was confiscated in an ongoing investigation of alleged influence peddling.

Officials are looking for information on a request sent by Social Christian Unity Party lawmaker Walter Céspedes, who allegedly asked Benavides for jobs for a friend and two nieces.

Céspedes said the minister “neither responded to the email or helped him get the jobs,” but at least one of his nieces was hired as a janitor at the Education Ministry, the daily La Nación reported.

A second investigation is being carried out by the Attorney General’s Office for an alleged violation of the Law Against Illicit Enrichment and Corruption.

In Costa Rica influence peddling is a crime punishable by 2-5 years in prison.

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