Monday, December 27, 2010

Full Circle

High government officials are tried by a procedure distinct from common citizens. We talked about this in the context of the legal case brought by the Public Prosecutor, Luis Rubi, against then president Manuel Zelaya. At the time, we showed that this was the proper, legal proceeding for prosecution of a case against a high government official, such as the President.

Well, the Asociación de Jueces y Magistrados de Honduras, a group of judges that supported the coup, wants the existing fraud case against Zelaya back in the Supreme Court. Their argument is that Zelaya is still a high government official because he is the representative to PARLACEN, and therefore the case must be heard in the Supreme Court.

Good thing the courts are on vacation. Judge Claudio Aguilar has a motion in front of him to nullify the cases against Zelaya brought by the alleged defenders he appointed for Zelaya, and a suggestion that he has no jurisdiction over the case brought by a group of his fellow judges and magistrates. Normally he would have to decide such a motion within three days, but because of the holidays, he has three days from when the courts resume a normal schedule, that is, until January 8, to render a decision.

Not that he can't rule sooner. At the very last minute he was put on the holiday rotation which means he can hear and resolve issues during the break. Speculation is that this was done to prevent another judge from being assigned to the case.

If Aguilar decides he does not have jurisdiction over the case because Zelaya is a member of PARLACEN, the prosecution of Zelaya will have come full circle, back to the Supreme Court; the same Supreme Court that the International Commission of Jurists report noted was "permeated with extreme partisan polarization."

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