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The arrested prosecutor was suspended from work for five years by the High Court of Justice

The arrested prosecutor was suspended from work for five years by the High Court of Justice

The Public Prosecution reported that it had arrested an assistant public prosecutor for paying money to another public prosecutor to order the arrest of a person.

The Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) reported last Monday that it had ordered the arrest of an Assistant Public Prosecutor, assigned to the Prison Control Unit, of the San Miguel Regional Office, on charges of committing the crime of personal bribery, i.e., after bribing a public official.

The District Attorney’s Office identified the person arrested as Francie Oneida Hernandez Vasquez, who is accused of giving $500 to another assistant district attorney in exchange for issuing an arrest warrant against an individual.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office did not clarify in its report whether the person to whom Hernandez Vazquez paid had been arrested, but only indicated that the investigation against the lawyer began after the Assistant Public Prosecutor denounced his colleague’s position.

In El Salvador, since March 27, 2022, thousands of people have been arbitrarily arrested, taking advantage of the emergency regime. The photo, dated December 7, 2022, shows the moment some detainees were released, months after they were unjustly imprisoned. EDH Photo / EDH Photo Archive / Francisco Rubio

“By order of @FGR_SV, Francie Oneida Hernandez Vasquez, Assistant Prosecutor of the Prison Control Unit of the San Miguel Prosecutor’s Office, was arrested on charges of active bribery. The Prosecutor’s Office stated that @FGR_SV initiated investigations after a complaint from the Assistant Prosecutor that Oneida Hernandez gave her 500 $ for issuing an arbitrary arrest warrant against someone.

Read also: Cases of police accused of extortion increase under the emergency regime

Prosecutor's arrest
Photo EDH/Courtesy

According to the Penal Code, the crime of bribery (giving a bribe) consists of a person, or through an intermediary, offering or giving a public official money, gifts or any other economic advantage to carry out an act contrary to his or her position. Interests and duties or not doing or delaying something because of their jobs. This crime is punishable by imprisonment for a period ranging from six to ten years.

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Ineligible for five years

Hernandez Vasquez, a 39-year-old originally from San Francisco Gotera, Morazán province, was disqualified and suspended for five years, according to court documents we had access to.

According to the minutes corresponding to the general court session of the Supreme Court of Justice, dated September 24, 2015, the lawyer was suspended from work for a period of five years, following a complaint filed by citizen Jose Antonio Blanco Cruz, who is originally from San Miguel.

The exclusion and suspension decision does not indicate whether he is a lawyer or a notary public. “2) Information D-01-HF-13 against Francie Oneida Hernandez Vasquez and (..). “An investigation is being conducted based on a complaint filed by José Antonio Blanco Cruz,” the judicial document stated.

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El Diario de Hoy conducted consultations, through the press office of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, since Hernández Vázquez was working as Assistant Public Prosecutor and whether they were aware of the suspension imposed by the court on him in September 2015, however, at the conclusion of the session. There was no response to this note.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office’s post on the X Network and Facebook sparked dozens of comments, many of them. For many, the facts pointed out by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Hernandez Vázquez prove that under the exceptional regime many people were arbitrarily arrested.

According to the Salvadoran Constitution, every person is considered innocent as long as he is not defeated in court.