Former judge who charged for civil marriage procedures is sentenced to 72 months in prison

The former municipal judge, Julio Isacio Arcia Guerra, was sentenced to 72 months in prison for the crime against the Public Administration in the modality of concussion. In addition to them, he was sentenced to the accessory penalty of disqualification from the exercise of public functions for the same period.

Arcia Guerra charged for carrying out the civil marriage procedures in the public court. This was corroborated after the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation was informed on August 26, 2016, that public officials of the Municipal Civil or Mixed Courts of the districts of Panama and Chepo, did not provide the user with the process for the civil marriages; on the contrary, they requested money to fulfill their duties and responsibilities.

The First Settlement Court of Criminal Cases considered that there was sufficient evidence, collected by the Prosecutor’s Office, which proved the responsibility of the defendant who, being a public official in use of his position, charged a contribution not established for his own benefit, for the performance of marriages between people who did not live in their jurisdiction or requested advance dates.

On October 24, 2016, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor of Descarga carried out the undercover operation called “Marriage”, through which two undercover agents go to the Municipal Court of Chepo to supposedly get married, delivering to the Judge B/.150.00 in cash, money marked by the Prosecutor’s Office, after this, in a search and body search procedure, the total amount of B/.316.90 was located to Julio Isacio Arcia Guerra, including the money marked for the procedure.

In addition, the confiscation of B/.166.00 was ordered, being deposited in an account of the National Bank in the name of the Fund and Custody of the Public Ministry.

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