“Separate” minutes show that there is no investigation against questioned ministers

“Separate” minutes show that there is no investigation against questioned ministers
“Separate” minutes show that there is no investigation against questioned ministers

Despite the rivers of ink that have flowed in recent weeks following revelations regarding various WhatsApp chats in which Supreme Court justices or their relatives appear implicated in possible influence peddling, a “certification” document, which was written in parallel and separately from the minutes of the plenary session of the country’s highest court, makes it clear that none of the judges mentioned in the various cases is under investigation and that to date “only general background information is being collected,” as the document indicates.

It should be remembered that after the last leak, in which Chiperchile He exposed the chats of Gonzalo Migueles (partner of Minister Angela Vivanco) in which he appears offering a doctorate and the north-central prosecutor’s office to the regional prosecutor of Aysén, Carlos Palma, and making arrangements for the appointment of the Real Estate Registrar of Viña del Mar, the president of the Supreme Court, Ricardo Blanco, decided to call an extraordinary plenary session on June 19.

Despite the expectations generated by this instance, it was only decided to appoint a new spokesperson (Minister María Soledad Melo) and “move forward in drafting a code of judicial ethics”, rejecting the convening of the Court’s ethics commission, so that it could analyze the actions of its members.

In a plot twist, however, and after the storm of criticism that the magistrates received, five days later, after the regular plenary session on Monday, Minister Blanco announced that the Ethics Commission would be convened.to learn about the facts that affect members of this court, for facts that are public knowledge,” he saidAccording to the statement issued by the Judiciary in this regard, the commission was composed of Blanco and the ministers Carmen Gloria Chevesich and Adelita Ravanales.

Four days after that, the Ethics Commission sent a letter to the national prosecutor, Angel Valencia, requesting, as reported, ThirdExport as plain text the WhatsApp conversations contained in the investigations conducted by the Public Prosecutor’s Office against Juan Antonio Poblete and Luis Hermosilla, where court ministers and incumbents appear mentioned, attaching separately the multimedia files of those conversations,”

However, Valencia responded that he could not grant the request, alluding to the fact that these records are contained in criminal investigations that are secret to third parties not involved in the proceedings.

The new twist

Yesterday’s plenary session was very tense and marked a new chapter in this series of instalments, as three of the ministers who so far appear to have been directly or indirectly involved in the chats (María Teresa Letelier, Angela Vivanco and Jean Pierre Matus) brought to the attention of this court the fact that they had learned through the media of an official letter that had been sent by the Ethics Commission to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, within the scope of an investigation that was being carried out into events that would affect them.

In other words, the ministers said they had learned from the press that an investigation had been launched and that they were the ones under investigation, given that the conversations concerning them were being requested, despite the fact that “to date they have not been notified of any investigation affecting them, as prescribed by article fourteen of act No. 262-2007, also emphasizing the duty of confidentiality imposed by article sixteen of the aforementioned act.”

Blanco defended himself by arguing that “although the Ethics Commission has been established, to date only background information is being gathered, and the investigation, for now, does not refer to a specific member of this Court.”

Likewise, he said that “if there is merit for this at a later date, the provisions of Act No. 262-2007 will be complied with and the respective notifications will be made confidentially. Lastly, he indicates that in the letter sent to the Public Prosecutor’s Office the name of any minister of this court was not mentioned, only the chats of conversations between Mr. Hermosilla and Mr. Poblete in which members of this Court could appear were requested. This letter was processed with due confidentiality and by hand to avoid leaks.”

However, that is not all. Sources familiar with what happened yesterday informed The counter that the document containing all of the above was not included in the regular minutes of the session, but was attached as a separate document as a “certification”. Sixteen ministers attended the plenary session and the session ended at 7:17 p.m. on Monday.

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