Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Ex-President of Costa Rica Found Guilty But Set Free

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on May 19, 2011

by Alex Leff for Americas Quarterly Online, May 17, 2011.

A San José court rejected most of an appeal by former Costa Rican President Rafael Calderón last week, but the court ruled to lighten his charges and overturned his five-year jail sentence.

Calderón, age 62, was convicted in October 2009 of two charges of embezzlement for helping divert millions of dollars from a Finnish government loan to Costa Rica’s social security system in 2004, after his presidency.

Last Wednesday, the appeals court reduced the ruling to a single embezzlement charge with three years in prison.

However, Calderón won’t go behind bars.

Under Costa Rican law, a person who is handed a sentence of three years or less, and whose record is otherwise clean, can walk.

In Calderón’s case, the judges said he must refrain from breaking the law for five years or else he could lose this get-out-of-jail card. (continue reading… )


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