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LatinNews Daily - 18 December 2019

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In brief: DR’s top court issues new Odebrecht ruling

* The Dominican Republic (DR)’s supreme court (SCJ) has decided to reroute to the court of first instance the cases of five of the six officials accused of receiving bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht. The only remaining member of the group charged with embezzlement and illicit enrichment relating to US$92m-worth of Odebrecht contracts between 2001-2014 is Senator Tommy Galán of the ruling Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD). The others accused are: former public works minister Víctor Díaz Rúa (2007-2012); two former Partido Revolucionario Moderno (PRM) senators, Andrés Bautista and Roberto Rodríguez; Ángel Rondón, identified as the liaison between Odebrecht executives and DR government; and lawyer Conrado Pittaluga. The plenary session majority ruling cited the motion submitted by the defendants that a CSJ conviction would leave them unable to appeal.