Opposing counsel battle over chain of evidence in Martinelli case

Legal

The head of Computing of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences , Luis Rivera Calle , said yesterday in the hearing of the trial that the former president Ricardo Martinelli is followed by the punctures, that during the analysis of the compact discs obtained in the National Security Council (CSN) – and which contain part of the eavesdropping – was not allowed to make a backup copy of the information obtained, and that the current head of that entity, Rolando López, was present in said diligence.

However, Rivera Calle never mentioned these facts when prosecutors at the Public Prosecutor’s Office questioned him at the hearing on April 5, in which he acknowledged the contents of the compact discs.

Rivera Calle said yesterday, during the cross-examination to which he is submitted by the ex-governor’s defense, that prosecutors Marcelino Aguilar and Ricardo Muñoz were the ones who asked him to practice the mail review procedure bradpty507@gmail.com, and that the chief of the CSN was present at one of these proceedings.

On the other hand, the expert confirmed that the computers inspected belonged to former CSN officers William Pittí and Ronny Rodríguez – both fugitives from justice – and that this material was dumped on compact discs that were fitted with a security device to avoid its possible alteration.

He stressed that a security tape with his name and surname was applied to those discs to achieve their preservation, but four years later they appear with the broken seal.

He also reiterated that in the mail transcript of the email bradpty507@gmail.com it was not allowed to include in the compact disc information corresponding to President Juan Carlos Varela and that prosecutors Aguilar and Muñoz indicated that only information pertinent to the investigation would be included.

In turn, the prosecutor Ricardo González , of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, assured that Martinelli’s defense attempts to undermine the investigation, although up until now Rivera Calle has certified the discovery of hundreds of conversations, emails, videos and photos recovered from the CSN offices, in open violation of the law.

González stressed that the exmandatario’s defense has insisted on the alleged violation of the chain of custody of the compact discs with the information of the interceptions, but clarified that in 2014 said mechanism was not strictly complied with.

In addition, he explained that the expert Rivera Calle has alluded to the presence in the proceedings of the director of the CSN, Rolando Lopez, but this is not recorded in the minutes that were lifted immediately after the judicial expert report and that he (Rivera Calle) must resolve these contradictions.

He also said that the prosecution has been able to confirm the existence of hundreds of emails intercepted to workers’ leaders, politicians, businessmen and even journalists without a judicial order.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Aurelio Vásquez – who leads the Public Prosecutor’s team at the trial – stressed that the important thing is the expert’s recognition of the content of the compact discs and that the trial court must weigh his statement.

“He recognized audios, videos, all the texts that appear, that are congruent with the content of the seven booklets that were delivered to the defense and that correspond to the email bradpty507@gmail.com,” he said.

Sidney Sitton , Martinelli’s team of lawyers, said that the statements of Rivera Calle yesterday show that the CSN intervened in some way in the handling of the investigation and that, even, some of the compact discs used by the prosecution may have been altered .

Sitton pointed out that the packing seals of the compact discs were violated and that the expert Rivera Calle said that he can not establish the origin of the discs that were taken by the prosecutor Marcelino Aguilar.

The lawyer, nevertheless, obviated that in the hearings of previous days Rivera Street recognized the content of said compact discs, as the public prosecutors emphasized yesterday.

He said that the “revelations” of the expert Rivera Calle make all the tests worthless, and that everything that happened with these evidences should be investigated in 2014.

The lawyer said he was very satisfied with the outcome of yesterday’s hearing, because, in his opinion, the anomalies in the investigation were evident.

Martinelli, in a brief speech, said yesterday: “Space can be recovered, but time can not,” and described the system of administration of justice as pathetic.

The trial will resume today at 9:00 am, when the defense continues with the cross examination to Rivera Calle, who is the first witness to parade on the stand.

 

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