MINAET May Fire Staff Over Crucitas Case

Minaet left it up to the Civil Service Resolution on the dismissal of three of the officials mentioned in the judgment delivered in November 2010 by the Administrative Law Court on the case called Crucitas.

The confirmation was made yesterday afternoon by René Castro, chief of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (Minaet).

The minister said that the persons mentioned are Jose Francisco Castro Munoz, director of Geology and Mines, the legal adviser Cynthia Cavallini and the officer Eduardo Murillo.

According to René Castro, they initially tried to do an internal procedure, but then opted to open the case by the Civil Service which was agreed on Thursday May 17.

Rene Castro said, “We try to make a due process to the internal (within the Minaet), but people who could supervise the process were generally partners of the people involved and for that reason we decided to take the case to the Civil Service.”

According to the Court Litigation, permits issued to the company Industrias Infinito to extract gold from the mine Crucitas in San Carlos Cutris were irregular.

For that reason, the Court ordered Minaet to open administrative procedures for this group of officials.

At the same time the prosecutor was asked to investigate these people – like former president Oscar Arias and former Minister of Environment Roberto Dobles.

The former minister has appeared three times in the court as the accused for the crime of prevarication in the case of Crucitas project.

Environmental lawyer Alvaro Sagot says the case continues to mark precedents with regards to Crucitas. “The news seems to be excellent, the people under investigation must be clear about their responsibilities. The statement said that, if any, these people may lead to criminal proceedings, we will value this possibility.” he added.

The decision, confirmed by the high court at the end of 2011, annulled also the concession for the project and halted all work at the site. The case is under judgment enforcement still today.

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