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Puerto Rico Bar insists gov’s leaked chat is referred to special prosecutor

By on July 25, 2019

Says both the House and its own reports point to wrongdoing

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Bar Association President Edgardo Román demanded that Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez refer to the Independent Special Prosecutor (FEI by its Spanish acronym) the reports that attribute potential felonies to the resigning governor, Ricardo Rosselló, and the other officials involved in their leaked Telegram chat group messages.

“We appeared before the country in a timely fashion with a report prepared by prominent jurists, which concluded that there is cause for the impeachment of the governor, as validated by the special commission appointed by the president of the House of Representatives,” Román Espada said in a statement.

Close to midnight Wednesday, Rosselló Nevares announced that he had begun an orderly transition process that concludes Friday, Aug. 2, at 5 p.m. with his resignation. Secretary Vázquez then issued a statement saying, “when the day comes, when [Gov. Rosselló’s] resignation comes in effect, if necessary, I will assume the historical mandate imposed by the Constitution.”

Román recognized the courage and militancy of the people as decisive factors in the resignation of the governor and reiterated his commitment to Puerto Rico to continue the collective fight to achieve other common objectives such as auditing the public debt, the departure of the fiscal oversight board and the Constituent Assembly.

The bar president highlighted the work of the association’s Observer and Negotiators Corps for its defense of civil rights, and of the legal defense groups of the people who were arrested by the Police.

“While the expressions and actions of many characters close to Rosselló Nevares are embarrassing, we are proud to witness the combativeness of a united and indignant people, and especially the active role demonstrated by our youth, which optimistically augurs a fairer country,” Román said.

The jurist also urged the relevant authorities to stop any repression against protesters and take action on allegations of civil rights violations; from arrests without cause, beating of detainees, excessive use of force, inappropriate and arbitrary use of toxic gases, rubber bullets and the like, carpeting, threats, as well as the attempt to control the public spaces of the protest.

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