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  • Writer's picturePanama Human Rights

Man wrongly held in jail over 2 years awarded $50,000 05/08/2019

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

The Supreme Court has ruled that a man who spent two and a half years in jail because of "the malfunction of public services" must receive $50,000 from The Public Ministry (MP) for moral damages.

According to the ruling, the damages to Irving Alexis Rodríguez caused were a consequence of the malfunction of the public service of the administration of justice, due to the alleged negligent performance of the Fifteenth Criminal Circuit Court of the First Judicial Circuit of Panama and of the Fourteenth Circuit Prosecutor's Office, with Rodríguez, provisionally detained, in La Joyita prison,, despite the fact that in August 2009 they filed the case against him.

Rodriguez was provisionally detained for the alleged commission of the crime against economic heritage and public faith. According to the ruling, Rodriguez was in jail due to the omission of "the remission of the corresponding release order."

Judge , Abel Zamorano, after carrying out the evaluation of the file, the practice of expert, psychological and psychiatric tests, as well as the analysis of the corresponding tests, determined that "there was responsibility for the defective provision of the public administration service of justice, and that on this occasion, it fell to the Public Prosecutor's Office, specifically the Fourteenth Circuit Prosecutor's Office, which failed to request the director of the La Joyita penitentiary to file the detainee Irving Rodríguez at the orders of the Fifteenth Circuit Court.

The ruling indicates that the "omissive conduct" of the Fourteenth Circuit Prosecutor's Office by not turning the "filiation office to the Court, in due course, until February 8, 2012, caused Rodríguez to be unreasonably detained for more than two years, from the moment he was entitled to his freedom.

"It should be noted that this decision of the Third Chamber is probably the first condemnation of the Public Prosecutor for a deficient provision of the public service, which demonstrates the commitment of the Third Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice with a straight administration of justice impartial, neutral and objective, that even when the sentence is not for a large amount, it is significant enough to serve as a precedent, " says the rapporteur.

They analyze the case of a man detained for two years due to a mistake by the Prosecutor

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