In a second case of alleged corruption in the Public Prosecutor’s Office, an official of the Office of the Specialized Prosecutor for Drug-related Crimes is investigated for the commission of the crime against public administration.
The incident was reported through a statement from the Public Prosecutor’s Office in which he added that search warrants were complemented in different parts of the country that are related to the investigation.
According to the press release, there were several proceedings authorized by the jurisdictional authority that achieved the identification of the official, his detention and established his connection with the criminal organization under investigation in the Drug Prosecutor’s Office. In these proceedings, assets and money related to the illicit were recovered.
The Star of Panama learned, through a judicial source, “that thanks to the information received, an operation was carried out that gave a positive result. Allegedly, the official was passing information to groups linked to drug trafficking, ”the source said.
Only this Tuesday, citizens were surprised with the images that circulated in social networks in which a homicide prosecutor from the province of David, Chiriqui, Jean Carlos Cerrud was observed, using alleged drugs in a car accompanied by other people apparently of the criminal gang. In the sequence they induce the prosecutor to use drugs and he does it, then he tells them: “You must understand that it is also my job,” he says semi-dismissed. Immediately the companion threatens the prosecutor: “Well, listen to me, I have recorded you, you are clear, ah.”
Cerrud was removed from office immediately after the video was broadcast. He filed a complaint for the crime of extortion against individuals.
According to the official, the incident occurred on January 9 when two people boarded the vehicle where he was.
It is striking that the prosecutor was located in the passenger seat of the car. By saying that two people boarded the car, who owns the vehicle and what was the prosecutor doing in it? These are questions that should be clarified by the authorities.
Speaking to television media, Cerrud explained that the two men entered the car. One is seen in the back seat and another in the driver’s seat. “Whoever sits behind, touches my shoulder, recognizes me and tells me that I know who they are. I turned around and saw that they were relatives of a subject who was sentenced to 25 years for aggravated homicide (which he investigated) occurred in San Cristobal, ”he said.
He went on to say that the individuals threatened and insulted him. The defendant’s mother took out her cell phone while the other subject told her what to do. He saw that the mother is recording and then made him understand that he had to take down the case in question. “I told him that this was my job, and that’s how the events happened. They forced me to consume illicit substances, in the networks certain things are unknown, but the individual is sentenced to 25 years ”.
The prosecutor consumed a “pass” of cocaine, while one of the passengers urged him to “get another.”
He said that when the video came out he presented the complaint and in the Public Ministry granted him a restraining order, but he requested a stronger measure for protection, “because my life may be in danger,” said the prosecutor who has six years in the Ministry Public.
He added that he did not file the complaint when the events happened because he feared they were against him and did not expect the situation that was going to occur. “In this type of situation the charge is dangerous and vulnerable,” said Cerrud.
However, so far the separate prosecutor has not explained what he was doing in these people’s cars or the apparent familiarity he had with the occupants. In addition to this, the separate prosecutor did not report the events when they occurred and waited until the video was published.
The president of the National Bar Association, Juan Carlos Araúz, said that the facts put into context the issue of how to become a prosecutor. “The absence of evaluation mechanisms, of a regime applicable to prosecutors and the need for greater professionalization to the Public Ministry must go hand in hand with the creation of mechanisms that grant permanence,” Araúz suggested. However, he added, they must undergo all kinds of evaluations permanently. There is a debate about whether it is legal or not to carry out anti-doping tests, but not every lawyer would be qualified to be a prosecutor or judge. “Each role requires different skills, so the importance of how to hire positions. They are not of the common routine, they must be deeper due to the nature of their functions, they require demands, they are not a common citizen and, to the same extent, they must receive attention in the position, ”said Araúz.