Duarte was a guest on the “Fuego Cruzado” program, broadcast by the GEN/Nación Media channel, and warned that he disagrees with the commission’s approach, in the sense that first of all these investigative commissions of the National Congress are limited in their actions.
Subjective and objective limitations
On the one hand, he referred to the fact that “its limitation is subjective; that is, they cannot summon any person, they can only do so to public officials or individuals who work in public companies, or where the State is a shareholder”, he stated. In that sense, he made reference to the investigation that the commission wants to promote, trying to use force to force Ortiz to give statements.
“The other limitation is objective and refers to the type of issue that they will analyze, if I am not confused, the investigation that we are talking about deals with the hypothesis of a crime that is the alleged money laundering without prejudice to the fact that there may be other related facts . Consequently, it is a jurisdictional issue, this means that the Public Ministry has to investigate, and if it finds all the elements, initiate the criminal procedure to reach the truth and eventually convict those who are found guilty, “explained the constitutionalist.
Not acting in this way would be invading the competence of another State power that is in charge of carrying out the investigation in the event that there is a punishable act. “If we accept the hypothesis that a congressional commission hears on the radio that a man is accused of having committed a robbery or assaulted a person, it can constitute a commission and request the appearance of that person and make an investigation, let’s find out what derivation that could have. This means, in constitutional fact, the invasion of the powers of another state power,” Duarte also pointed out.
The former legislator of Patria Querida, with scope in constitutional law, specified: “This commission can carry out the investigation it deems within the limitations that I have just indicated, and with that information to which they agree, make the complaints in the corresponding scope that it is the Public Ministry, which will know if you need any jurisdictional authorization to deepen your investigation. For me it is clear, if these legislators have well-founded suspicions that such a thing exists, then they have to file a complaint with the Public Ministry and the institution will evaluate that and ask the Judge of Guarantees whatever is necessary to continue their investigation,” he explained. during the program.
Today it’s Ortiz, tomorrow it could be someone else
Marcelo Duarte expressed his concern because he is afraid that “this case really sets an extremely serious precedent: today it could be José Ortiz and tomorrow it could be someone else. There is evidently a dispute of the political, electoral order and the fact of the suspicion of the possible existence of an illicit is the pretext to discuss a political problem; so, they seek to take advantage of one or an advantage over the other, ”he said.
institutions are rotting
The former legislator continued to speak on the point and referred to the independence of the Judiciary and the express prohibition of this type of action. “Article 248 also speaks of the independence of the Judiciary and this type of action is clearly prohibited; that is, an investigation of the activity of public officials in their capacity as such or of individuals intervening in public companies for some illicit purpose must not be confused with the natural activity established by the Constitution for the Judicial Power, for the purpose of sanctioning those who violate criminal law,” he mentioned.
He also referred to the fact that if there is suspicion of a punishable act, the information held by the Investigation Commission must be referred to the Justice so that it can do its job. “If there are suspicions of an illicit act such as money laundering, then the information that the investigative commission possesses or comes to possess must be brought to justice because it is not only a political problem. But, distorting the division of powers to seek political gains can be a Pyrrhic circumstantial victory and we do great damage to the country because we violate, break down, prostitute, rot the institutions”, he warned.
TV movie and common law
Likewise, Duarte referred to the constitutional rights and guarantees that are not the same established in other legislations such as the Anglo-Saxon one, which is different from ours. “The National Constitution establishes as a power of the Bicameral Investigation Commission, in article 195, to call, summon private persons, in addition to other public officials. However, in article 4 it establishes that the constitutional rights and guarantees will be respected, they will be in force even before the call of the Bicameral Commission and in the regulatory law of that article it determines that the person can be excused alleging article 18 of the National Constitution, which establishes that no one is obliged to testify against him. But what’s happening now looks like a TV movie inspired by common law; in our Constitution it does not exist”, reiterated Duarte.
For his part, the lawyer Pedro Ovelar was forceful in arguing that the motivation of the commission is focused on the political dispute, not only with a view to the internal partisans, but also the general elections in order to weaken the government project of the movement. Honor Colorado and weaken the political force that is exercised by the leader of the dissidence, former President of the Republic Horacio Cartes.
“The particular interest is clearly political, the president of the commission has a political purpose that is framed in an association of opponents, today internal within the Colorado Party and later in the general ones with the predictions that the pre-candidate for the Presidency of Honor Colorado, Santiago Peña, has more chances to succeed; So, all this is part of a program to affect both the image of former President of the Republic Horacio Cartes, candidate for the Governing Board of the ANR, and to affect Peña, “he said.
The lawyer continued to maintain that the bicameral already has a previous conclusion and seeks to splash the former president in illicit acts such as money laundering and smuggling, without having official information or having carried out a thorough investigation.
“From everything that we have been hearing from some members of the commission, we realize that they already have a conclusion, and that is that Cartes is responsible for the crime of money laundering, smuggling, and that will be the position finally, when if we are facing a fact to be investigated, what corresponds is that the commission investigates beforehand and not draw conclusions and simply give a formality to request documents and convene, and then issue a previously decided opinion, ”he said.
On the other hand, Ovelar stated that Querey, as head of the investigation block, has an absolute ignorance of the National Constitution by arguing that the instance does not constitute a judging body, but only a political instance.
“In order not to sound aggressive, I would say that he has an absolute ignorance of the Constitution. The processes cannot be understood solely as jurisdictional processes, there are also other types of processes and they are all legal processes. He even told me that this is not a legal process, but a political instance, forgetting that, even though it is a political body, Congress by its nature submits to the Constitution and the laws”, he mentioned.
Finally, Ovelar accused the parliamentarians of violating with their actions the regulations in force in Paraguay by “ignoring” the legal provisions by integrating an investigation commission that performs functions outside its powers.
“They are violating the National Constitution, the laws, creating a commission that performs jurisdictional functions that the Constitution does not allow them, they want to ignore provisions regarding the appearance and the right to excuse an accused person and force him to testify and then conclude and political damage for purely electoral purposes and totally disinterested in what the Constitution says about the general interest, this being particular”, he indicated.