“Why did we have to be ministers’ kids?” was my wife’s comment as I was reading her the latest sad saga of public servants in Panama ripping off the government and the people. Here’s the latest salvo, a judge, the guy who enforces and really, in a sense, MAKES the law in Panama. [Panama has a Spanish-French type judicial system of law which does not rely on case law, but the decision of the judge. Hmmm. Well, now you understand how the system works, or why it doesn’t work in many cases. This judge was a Supreme Court Judge no less! Just imagine Scalia or Bader Ginsberg doing this. I’ve highlighted the part that really got us going …
SUSPENDED Panama Supreme Court Justice Alejandro Moncada Luna has pleaded guilty to two of the four charges he was facing before the National Assembly.
On Monday, Febuary 23 he pleaded guilty to unjustified enrichment and falsifying a public document and will serve 60 months in prison and an equal time suspended from holding public office.
[Point of information: In order to serve as President of the Republic you must not have spent more than four years in prison. Actually, having survived a dictatorship, there may be some sense to that rationale.]
As part of the agreement, which was unveiled by Prosecutor Pedro Miguel Gonzalez, Moncada Luna will hand over properties that he acquired while in office, namely two apartments in Coco del Mar valued at a combined $1.7 million. The agreement does not mention the $4.6 million in 14 bank accounts linked to the judge, as well as three luxury vehicles reports La Prensa which originally broke the story of his acquisition of the apartments while earning only a judge’s salary.
The pact was finalized late in the afternoon.and Moncada Luna’s attorney, Ramiro Jarvis, said his client agreed to plead guilty due to his health problems.
The agreement must be approved by the National Assembly Tribunal appointed to hear the case ,made up of deputies Kathleen Levy, Ana Matilde Gómez and Zulay Rodríguez. They will decide how Moncada Luna will comply with the prison sentence. [NEWSROOM PANAMA]
[Regarding the last sentence, sometimes in Panama, even common criminals, can legally buy their way out of jail time, if they have money.]
You may want to read “The Devil You Know vs. The Devil You Don’t Know”
I am sure the same BS goes on in North America and Europe, but at least they cover up their shit and don’t do their misdeeds so blatantly so the rest of us can pretend.