Monday, August 23, 2010

Selective Prosecutions

It looks like the Bar Association of Honduras has finally noticed what we've been remarking on for months; that Public Prosecutor Luis Rubi is only selectively prosecuting corruption cases. They wrote a letter to the Secretary of Congress asking that Luis Alberto Rubi, and the prosecutor in charge of corruption cases, Henry Salgado, be fired.

The president of the Bar, José Antonio Ávila, noted in the letter that
they have not complied with the constitution nor the law of the Public Prosecutor.

The letter goes on to accuse Rubi and Salgado of having pocket-vetoed some of the accusations of corruption that the members of the Bar Association have placed.
When they took office, they promised to comply with the laws, but they are only gathering a salary without justifying the existence of their institution [the prosecutor's office],

said Avila.

He added that the lack of follow-through on cases is the reason that the head of the Legal unit of the National Anti-corruption Commission, José Raúl Suazo Lagos, to resign.

Suazo Lagos had given the evidence in the cases of corruption to both Rubi and Salgado, but they allowed them to gather dust. The head of the San Pedro Sula branch of the Public Prosecutor's office, Rafael Fletes, hinted at much the same thing when he resigned in July. His comments at the time suggested lack of support from the Public Prosecutor's office.

Andres Pavon, head of the Comité para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Honduras, said yesterday that Rubi, in his role as Public Prosecutor, was acting irresponsibly in the way he charged four members of the teacher's union with "illegal demonstrations", a charge which, Pavon says, the legal code specifies is only applicable if the demonstration is for the purpose of carrying out an illegal act or part of an attempt against the government with arms or explosives.

We have noted in earlier posts that Rubi tends to have unique readings of Honduran law, as determined by the courts of Honduras. The courts have dismissed the majority of the cases he's brought since the coup. Rubi declined to even open an investigation when Lobo Sosa denounced elements who were openly plotting a coup against him.

The International Criminal Court notified Rubi in January it had documented several cases of crimes against humanity, in which he was one of those implicated as responsible.

The Honduran Bar Association has just cause to ask for Rubi's dismissal.

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