He’s in jail without charges, “under investigation” for up to 90 days
Lawyers for the candidates Arturo Cruz and Cristiana Chamorro have not yet been able to communicate with their clients, who are still incommunicado.
By Ivette Munguia (Confidencial)
HAVANA TIMES – The Police raided the home of presidential candidate Arturo Cruz on Monday, and the Ortega Judiciary extended his imprisonment for up to 90 days while he is under investigation without charges. Such detentions used to be for 48 hours.
Cruz was detained on Saturday at the Managua Airport when returning from a trip to Washington. Since he was in jail during the Police raid, it is not known what they stole.
Cruz is investigated by the Police for “provocation, proposition, and conspiracy to commit harm to the national integrity,” a crime fabricated by Ortega through the “Law in Defense of the Rights of the People to Independence, Sovereignty, and Self-Determination for Peace.”
The Police claim to have “strong evidence that he has acted against Nicaraguan society and the rights of the people” and according to a statement by the Prosecutor’s Office, published this Monday, the extension of the period to investigate and judicial detention is due “to the seriousness and complexity of the crime reported” and “because there is a probability that the person under investigation could obstruct the process,” if not in jail.
The opposition presidential candidate was supposedly taken before a criminal court in Managua, without his attorney, where a prosecutor requested he remain in jail for 90 days while under investigation. It was immediately granted by the judge.
Arturo Cruz’s lawyer blocked from the hearing
Elton Ortega, the defense lawyer of the presidential candidate, was not notified or present at the hearing. Hours before he told journalists that he had not been able to communicate with his client, who had already been detained at the El Chipote interrogation prison for more than 48 hours.
“He has not been brought to court (in Managua), there is no accusation filed against him, and we do not know for what crime,” said Cruz’s attorney, who described the case as “irregular.”
The lawyer filed a writ of habeas corpus of the presidential candidate. Upon leaving the courts, he stressed that neither he nor the family of the candidate have been able to communicate with his client. They assume he is in El Chipote because “they have been receiving the food” relatives have brought.
Cristiana Chamorro’s file “under review”
Meanwhile, lawyer Orietta Benavides, defender of Cristiana Chamorro, also appeared at the Managua judicial complex in search of information about her client who is incommunicado under house arrest. However, the only answer she obtained was that “the file is under review and cannot be seen, nor can it be copied.”
The lawyer said the answer “in review” could mean “anything.” Perhaps “the judge is reviewing it or it is on the clerk’s desk, we don’t know.” The only thing that can be corroborated in this case is that “there is a court file, but what has happened beyond the reception of the accusation, is totally unknown to us,” she stressed.
Benavides stated that by denying her access to Chamorro’s physical file, she has no way of knowing the proceedings that could be taking place against her client, since they are not registered on the website of the Judicial Power.
Candidate Chamorro remains under house arrest now in day seven, after judge Karen Chavarria ordered her detention and the raid against her home on June 2nd. The Prosecutor’s Office accuses the former director of the closed Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation for the crimes of abusive administration, misrepresentation, in concurrence with money, assets and capital good laundering.
Opposition Coalition demands more international pressure
Meanwhile, the National Coalition requested the international community “take actions of greater pressure” against the Ortega government that pretends to carry out “an electoral farse” in the elections of November 7, in which the Sandinista leader seeks a fourth consecutive term.
“We request the international community as a whole, to take actions of greater pressure on Ortega, which will force him to create appropriate electoral conditions for Nicaraguans to peacefully express our will for change,” read Felix Maradiaga, another candidate.
Maradiaga, who has been called to testify today (June 8th) before the Public Ministry for an unspecified cause, said they have also demanded “the OAS take a firm stance to continue with the application of the Democratic Charter to the regime of Daniel Ortega, which has altered the constitutional order and makes the entire country a victim of the legal and political barbarity that it practices.”
They call for mobilization
The Coalition also called “all Nicaraguan democrats to mobilize nationally and internationally, under the blue and white flag to achieve the immediate release” of the presidential candidates Cristiana Chamorro and Arturo Cruz, as well as “all the other political prisoners.”
Likewise, to demand “they stop candidate disqualifications, hold free elections with national and international observation”, and to “disavow any electoral farse that Ortega intends to impose,” says the Coalition statement.
Maradiaga noted that the country “is experiencing dramatic and decisive moments,” so that, according to him, “it is a historical political responsibility of all democratic forces to assume a united patriotic stance and free Nicaragua from the tragedy in which Ortega has submerged us.