(CNN Spanish) — Costa Rican prosecutors confirmed on CNN Tuesday that they had opened an ex-officio investigation against President Rodrigo Chaves for the alleged crime of influencing the public treasury in connection with the president’s trip to Latvia, the country of origin of First Lady Signe Zeikate. , scheduled for this Thursday and Friday.
Chaves attended the Summit between the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) on Monday and Tuesday in Brussels, Belgium. According to the Presidency, the trip to Latvia is foreseen after this appointment.
Without providing further details, the Public Prosecutor’s Office sent CNN the link to the law which in article 57 contemplates the crime of Influencing the Public Treasury, which says that “the public official and the other equal subjects who, by intervening on the basis of their position, influence, direct or condition, in any way, so that a specific result is produced, harmful to the patrimonial interests of the Treasury or the public interest, or any maneuver or artifice is used tending to that end”.
The Costa Rican Presidency defends the visit
Costa Rican Communications Minister Jorge Rodríguez said on Tuesday after hearing of the prosecutor’s office announcement that it is an official trip of the president in which “he will hold meetings with the president of Latvia, with the president of parliament of that Republic and will visit the University of Riga next Friday”.
In a video broadcast by the president’s press office, Rodríguez denied the statements of analysts who, according to him, said that Latvia is not an important country. “Unfortunately – he added – the analysts who say this forget that Latvia is part of the European Union, it is an OECD country and that foreign policy decisions are the responsibility of the President of the Republic and the Chancellor”.
In a conference held on Wednesday last week, Chaves referred to the controversy thus: “There are people who say: what they are going to do is go to their in-laws. No gentlemen. If I will see them, why will I lie to them? I guess you have to go say hello, that would be rude.” And at the same time he assured that he would not go for a walk. “It turns out that the president of Latvia is new and they know that in diplomacy you have to look at people closely, and he happens to be in Latvia. And yes, you have to take another little trip. And you know what Ticos? It’s for the good of the country, I’m not going for a walk,” the president insisted.
The press release announcing the president’s visit at the time indicated that the visits reinforce “Costa Rica’s interest in strengthening its political, cooperation and trade ties with the European Union, as well as reaffirming the interest in building joint issues of good governance, democracy, human rights and the fight against drug trafficking, among others”.