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May 24th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) Attorney General, Jorge Chavarria, threatened yesterday to prosecute and possibly jail any official who discloses any information to the press surrounding the investigation of President Laura Chinchilla’s recent trip to Peru, in which she flew in a private jet linked to Gabriel Morales Fallon, a Colombian businessman suspected of having ties to drug trafficking.
Chavarria gave the warning yesterday on local radio station, ADN, saying anyone who leaked information “would be put in jail.”
“If a prosecutor, if a police officer takes information to the press, we will investigate them and possibly put them in jail,” Chavarria told the radio station in an annoyed tone.
Attorney Federico Campos, however, questions the legality of Chavarria’s threat.
Campos said that although Article 203 of the Criminal Procedure Code provides for criminal charges for spreading secret information to cause damage or without cause, that the law does not apply to an investigation of the President of the Republic, as their actions are of “the public interest.”
President Chinchilla used the private jet associated with Fallon in March to fly to Venezuela for the funeral of the former leader, Hugo Chavez. She then used the plane again this month for a private trip to Peru, where she attended a wedding.
It later emerged that both the jet and Fallon were under investigation by Costa Rican authorities for possible ties to drug trafficking.
Chavarria confirmed last week that his office is looking into possible charges against the President, after receiving a complaint filed by Rep. Patricia Perez. The complaint accuses the president of violating the Act Against Corruption and Illicit Enrichment.
The Attorney General’s Office said that it was in a “preliminary investigation process.”
Several of Chinchilla’s key ministers have resigned since the scandal began.