SANTO DOMINGO.-History repeats itself, and as in the Odebrecht process, which supposedly bribes were paid but without bribes, in the purchase of the Super Tucano aircraft there are also no guilty parties for the accusation of 3.5 million dollars that would have been paid as bribes.
Yesterday the Third Collegiate Court of the National District, made up of magistrates Arlín Ventura, Leticia Noboa and Milagros Ramírez read the Tucano case, declaring those involved not guilty: retired Major General Pedro Rafael Peña Antonio, former Minister of Defense; Colonel Carlos Piccini Núñez, former director of special projects of the Dominican Air Force (FAD) and businessman Daniel Aquino Hernández, as well as the companies 4D Business Group and Magycorp.
This was the decision taken, despite the fact that the Brazilian company Embraer, which sold the aircraft to the Dominican State, admitted giving bribes to speed up the approval process in the National Congress.
The process followed by the three people and two companies accused of receiving bribes from the Embraer company for the purchase of eight Super Tucano aircraft, began in 2016 and later the accusation was presented in 2017, and it was yesterday, six years later, when justice put an end to it, although the Public Ministry announced that it will appeal the measure.
During the reading of the document, which was interrupted by several blackouts, Judge Ventura specified that it was verified that at the time the planes were purchased, August 2007, Pedro Rafael Peña Antonio held the position of Chief of Staff of the Dominican Air Force, for which he was subordinate to the Secretary of State for the Armed Forces, who at that time was Ramón Aquino García.
“The Public Ministry affirms that Peña Antonio is the one who signs the purchase contract, however, according to the theory of obligations, the will in the Super Tucano aircraft contract is expressed in the person of the then President of the Republic.
Indeed, according to the evidence provided both for and for the defense, the purchase contract includes the then Secretary of State for the Armed Forces, Aquino García, and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Peña Antonio, but that signing took place by virtue of the power of representation granted by the President of the Republic to Aquino García”, he indicated.
The defendants in the case could not hide their emotions when they heard that they were free of guilt after six years of the process.
Major General Peña Antonio did not stop crying, while Colonel Piccini, the only one who was imprisoned for the alleged bribes, expressed that he does not hold any grudge against anyone.
Peña Antonio urges the country to take care of the tucanos
Combat. The former Minister of Defense, Rafael Peña Antonio, made a call for the Dominican people to follow up and not allow Tucanoan planes to be damaged due to lack of spare parts or resources, to prevent drugs from continuing to arrive in the country.
He said that his effort was focused there to prevent so many drugs from entering the Dominican Republic.
In the midst of tears, he expressed that the Tucanos have helped a lot to combat drug trafficking, which he considers to be a demon that flies and swims, that a lot of attention should be paid to it, since it is worth nothing to have a beautiful country and that this “cursed substance”