TMCNet:  BRIEF: Chief Prosecutor calls for corruption probe of lawmaker

[February 14, 2013]

BRIEF: Chief Prosecutor calls for corruption probe of lawmaker

Feb 14, 2013 (The Tico Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Costa Rican Chief Prosecutor Jorge Chavarria ordered a Wednesday evening raid at the office of Presidency Minister Carlos Ricardo Benavides, whose computer was confiscated in an ongoing investigation of alleged influence peddling.

Officials are looking for information on a request sent by Social Christian Unity Party lawmaker Walter Cespedes, who allegedly asked Benavides for jobs for a friend and two nieces.

Cespedes said the minister "neither responded to the email or helped him get the jobs," but at least one of his nieces was hired as a janitor at the Education Ministry, the daily La Nacion reported.

A second investigation is being carried out by the Attorney General's Office for an alleged violation of the Law Against Illicit Enrichment and Corruption.

In Costa Rica influence peddling is a crime punishable by 2-5 years in prison.

___ (c)2013 The Tico Times (San Jose, CRI) Visit The Tico Times (San Jose, CRI) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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