Omar Menjivar, the defendant lawyer of Fernando José Suarez Ramírez, revealed that his client is accused of being one of the masterminds in the Pandora Case Scheme. He also revealed that Suarez Ramírez holds sensitive information regarding the involvement of Honduras high government officials in this major corruption case.
According to the Attorney General’s Office (Ministerio Público), Suarez Ramírez was the person in charge of the NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organizations) that drained funds from public institutions to finance political campaigns of the Liberal (Partido Liberal) and National Party (Partido Nacional).
Omar Menjivar declared the following regarding his client,
“Suarez Ramírez, has received death threats as well as his family members due to the sensitive information that he holds. He already shared this information with the Attorney General’s Office (Ministerio Público).
My client has responsibility in this corruption case and I won’t deny it. He participated in the embezzlement of government funds for the amount of 282 million Lempiras (around USD$11.5 million dollars) from the Department of Agriculture (Secretaría de Agricultura). The National Congress (Congreso Nacional), Social Security Institute (IHSS), National Institute for Personal Formation (INFOP), National Patronage for Infants (PANI) were among the other government institutions affected by the funds drained in this major corruption case. The funds embezzled were schemed as being used in programs to help impoverished communities.
My client did not come here saying that he’s innocent. He will relate the facts and that his actions were not isolated from the knowledge of high government officials, neither him or Jacobo Regalado were the ones that developed the plan to embezzle government funds like the press or the prosecution affirms.
My defendant came with the purpose of giving the information that he was used as an instrument in the Corruption case but the individuals responsible of the planning, supervision and execution of the organized criminal scheme were the heads of the Honduran Government.
The criminal organization had the direction of Hilda Hernández who was appointed by her brother the president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández. They are the heads of this criminal organization.
All the funds embezzled from these institutions were used to finance the campaigns of the now President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández. The embezzled funds were first used for the primaries of the National Party (Partido Nacional) internal movement “Azules Unidos” in 2012, secondly for the 2013 Presidential Campaign as well as for the 2017 Presidential Campaign.
My client will remain detained at a jailhouse in the Agency for Criminal Investigation (ATIC) during the trial. He is being accused of fraud, embezzlement of public funds and use of false documentation.”
The lawyer expressed that he hopes that the Attorney General and the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) will prosecute the actual individuals responsible for another corruption disaster in the country.
Juan Orlando Hernández reacts to the accusations
The dictatorial president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández reacted to the accusations, “no one is above the law, every individual is responsible for their actions, and those actions are own responsibilities non-transferable to other parties.
Any individual that is being accused of a crime, should present themselves to the law enforcers following a due process and respecting their presumption of innocence. I have also said that in terms of respecting justice we have to be cautious of handling these topics with the media.
When an individual has proof of something, they should present them to the law enforcers for due process in an effort to find justice and not speculate or defame, because that is an error for the system in place.”