According to deputies, after the surprise resignation there is “usurpation of functions” and “ideological falsehood”, after the official appeared at the plenary session knowing that he was no longer vice minister. They also criticized the role of the official’s lawyers.
During the defense intervention from the Police Director National Civil (PNC), Mauricio Arriaza Chicas, in the plenary of lawlessness in the Legislative Assembly, one of the lawyers announced that Arriaza Chicas had already resigned as Deputy Minister of Security, so that the vote in plenary session to disprove him no longer proceeded.
The director of the Police will now face justice in the courts for the crimes charged by the Prosecutor’s Office: breach of duties and disobedience. President Nayib Bukele announced on his Twitter account that Arriaza Chicas submitted his resignation on Monday, and that it was already published in the Official Gazette. “The Assembly can not remove the jurisdiction or remove from office someone who is no longer vice minister,” said the president.
Deputy Yanci Urbina, of the FMLN, later stated that the Prosecutor’s Office must be notified about this new “fraud of the law” and possible new crimes committed. While the minister Javier Valdez said that there could be a “usurpation of functions” and that “we are facing the institutional contempt of the Legislative Assembly.”
According to the lawyer Jacobo Cruz, one of the new crimes that the Prosecutor’s Office could investigate is that of concealment, since the Government has tried to circumvent the PNC director from following an investigation process. In addition to a crime of procedural fraud, for changing the situation of Commissioner Arriaza Chicas at the time he was being investigated in order to evade justice.
Another of the crimes that Arriaza could commit is arbitrary acts, because the government is knowingly carrying out acts that are contrary to the Constitution.
The deputies criticized the surprise notification of Arriaza’s resignation as vice minister because, among other things, resources were spent on lawyers by a plenary session that made no sense given the resignation.
In the end, the deputies approved with 57 votes to send a certification to the Prosecutor’s Office on what happened in the plenary of impeachment against Arriaza Chicas.
The legislators, after a recess, also commented that there were sufficient elements to disprove it, since the defense arguments were not enough, said Deputy Valdez, of the FMLN.
Congressman Ricardo Velásquez Parker, from ARENA, agreed that what happened can be classified as a “usurpation of functions”. “It was a process flawed in bad faith and agreed by lawyers,” he said.
The MP Shafick Hándal added that another crime could be configured, that of “ideological falsehood.”
“In what capacity did Arriaza Chicas come this day if he resigned yesterday? If, knowing that he was no longer vice minister, he sat down, a defense was exercised, it is a situation that complicates him even more. What bad defenders guided him, because knowing that he was no longer vice minister, they lent themselves to come to the plenary session for someone who could no longer be outraged, ”was the position of the ARENA deputy, René Portillo Cuadra.
After announcing his resignation as vice minister of Arriaza Chicas, both he and his team of defense lawyers and the other officials who had come to accompany him withdrew from the plenary session.
Before notifying the decision, the defense lawyers argued that for there to be a crime of breach of duties, the director of the PNC would have to have illegally omitted an act of his functions.
“Attributing a crime, not only to an official, but to any person, is not what I think is a crime, it is not what I consider, it is not what someone has told me that crime is, but a crime it will be the one that has met the minimum elements established by the Penal Code, ”said the defense.
Before that, the plenary heard the ruling of violation, it was read and then the defense attorneys had an hour to speak. Later, the prosecutor in the case, FMLN deputy Cristina Cornejo, had the same time for the allegations against the director of the Police.
While the plenary was taking place, representatives of different unions were posted outside the legislative palace where they burned gunpowder and held protests. There were also some altercations with journalists.
Until Monday, GANA and PCN had spoken out against defying Arriaza Chicas, who is accused of the crimes of breach of duties and disobedience, by failing to comply with the orders given by the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) and the Legislative Assembly.
Approach of the prosecutor of the special commission, Cristina Cornejo
The prosecutor of the special commission for the violation of the PNC director, Deputy Cristina Cornejo, stated during her speech that the Minister of Finance alleged that he did not know about the summons that the Legislative Assembly had made.
However, Cornejo added that in a reference sheet signed by the same director, Arriaza Chicas, it is mentioned that the call for the Minister of Finance is a public fact, and where the official said that he would not arrive at the Assembly to “waste time ”, Which they could verify with the tracking of tweets and videos on social networks.
“How are you going to not know, if the same director of the National Civil Police issues you a note saying that please come to appear, to inform the commission, and the same director of the Police says that the Minister of Finance told him that ‘no’ because he was very busy and that he had to present the budget project ”, stated Cornejo.
“The National Civil Police and all public officials in this country are subject to the laws, the Constitution and if this is not fulfilled they have to respond to the law and the Constitution, and see here a clear example of this,” said the prosecutor Cornejo.
Then it was the turn of the defense attorneys, who in their arguments justified why the crimes attributed to the director Arriaza Chicas did not proceed.
The possible crimes attributed to Arriaza Chicas
The violation of the Police Director is carried out at the request of the Attorney General of the Republic, in order to be tried for said crimes.
The director of the Police disobeyed the order of a legislative commission for not having urgently led the Minister of Finance, Alejandro Zelaya, to explain the use that the government has given the $ 3 billion during the critical stage of the COVID pandemic -19.
The second disobedience of Arriaza Chicas was when he did not comply with the order of the Apopa fiscal office, in which he asked him to evict people who prevented the entry of garbage collection trucks to the Nejapa landfill, which put at risk the health of the population.
The Attorney General, Raúl Melara, warned the Police Director that refusing to comply with the order could lead to criminal liability.
Article 321 of the Penal Code establishes the crime of non-compliance with duties with penalties ranging from four to six years in prison, in addition to special disqualification from holding the position for the same period.
Another of the criminal behaviors that can be configured to the Director of the Police is disobedience, typified in article 322 of the Penal Code.