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Bukele calls on the Supreme Court to remove judges “accomplices” of organized crime

The President of the Republic, Nayib Bukele, also asked the Prosecutor's Office to investigate the anti-mafia judge.  /DEM file.

The President of the Republic, Nayib Bukele, also asked the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the anti-mafia judge. /DEM file.

The President of the Republic, Nayib Bukele, urged the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) to dismiss the judges “accomplices” of organized crime, after hearing the ruling of a specialized judge who acquitted 42 alleged members of the 18 gang for Lack of evidence.

Through his Twitter account, Bukele reported that no gang member has been released, despite the fact that a judge “tried to free” 42 defendants in a 2019 case. “All remain in prison and the case will go to a higher court.” .

The president referred to the ruling of the Specialized Sentencing Judge “A”, of San Salvador, which acquitted 42 alleged gang members operating in Panchimalco, whom the prosecution accused of nine aggravated homicides, three proposals to commit murder and five cases of deprivation freedom, as well as by illegal groups, in events that occurred between 2008 and 2019.

I call on the Supreme Court of Justice to remove the judges complicit in organized crime.”

Nayib Bukele
Republic President

Bukele also called on the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) to “investigate the possible links of this judge with organized crime and terrorist structures.”

Since last May 1, the ruling party began the summary dismissals of officials of the Judicial Branch and the Public Ministry. Although it began with the magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice, and the head of the Attorney General of the Republic, these removals reached hundreds of judges and prosecutors with successive reforms to judicial laws.

Why were they released?

The structure of 42 alleged members of gang 18 operated in Panchimalco, south of the capital, and was acquitted by the Specialized Sentencing Court “A” of San Salvador.

The anti-mafia judge based his ruling on the lack of evidence by the Prosecutor’s Office to demonstrate the crimes and the participation of each of the accused in the events.

Among the evidence used by the Prosecutor’s Office, the testimony of one of the defendants stands out –identified with the code Poseidon- who accepted criminal benefits in exchange for helping to clarify the facts.

According to the judge, the statements of the witness “Poseidon” were “incongruous, imprecise and ambiguous”; given that He did not agree on the people he pointed out in the events, places, dates and circumstances in which the homicides took place and that for the justice operator, he does not deserve any “credibility”.

The judge remarked that “the triumph of a criminal proceeding was not the conviction, but to arrive at the truth of the procedural facts.”

The Prosecutor’s Office, for its part, said it was “satisfied” with the evidence presented, and announced that they will present the appeal before a higher court.

An unbelievable witness

The defense applauded the judge’s decision and considered it “that as knowledgeable about the case, it has been fair and objective.”

Lawyer Norma Barrera referred to one of the cases that the judge assessed in his ruling and it is the one related to a family of five people in Panchimalco, who on September 2, 2017, had to flee due to threats from the gang.

A young man from this family, known as Moisés, was deprived of liberty and disappeared. To date his whereabouts are unknown and “Poseidon”, the key witness of the Prosecutor’s Office, participated in this disappearance.

The subject, however, could not locate the place where he says Moses was buried, which undermined the credibility of his testimony. Being exposed, he even pointed out that the body had been dug up and transported to another place unknown to him.

“Far from being a suitable, credible witness, he became a lie, that’s why we have this sentence,” concluded Barrera.

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