Arriaza Chicas faced criminal charges for the crime of breach of duties. The Prosecutor’s Office said that this resolution was due to procedural errors by the Assembly when it came to substantiating the urgency for the Minister of Finance to appear.
The Fifth Court of Peace of San Salvador this afternoon definitively dismissed the director of the Police, Mauricio Arriaza Chicas, of the crime of breach of duties for which he faced criminal charges.
The judge argued that the order issued by the Legislative Assembly to urgently bring the Minister of Finance lacked factual and legal arguments.
After knowing the resolution, the Prosecutor’s Office considered that it was due to procedural errors of the Assembly in this case. “If the Legislative Assembly had based the urgency differently, surely the decision would be different, because as director of the Police it is due to the Constitution,” said the prosecutor in the case.
After dismissing Arriaza Chicas, the judge also rebuked him: “You must submit to the rule of law, not that of men. Not worth a tweet, not worth a call. We do not live in a monarchy, you must submit to the rule of law ”, he told the police director who only lowered his head.
“If the (Legislative) Assembly had complied with the requirements of the process, my decision would probably be different. This is not a blank check so that he does not attend the Assembly commissions or so that he does not obey orders, “the judge warned the police director.
Faced with the adverse ruling, one of the prosecutors in the case said that once they have the ruling in writing, they will make legal assessments to see if they file an appeal against the court ruling.
The prosecutor said that although it seemed paradoxical, what the judge said to the police director was a positive message for the country’s institutions.
Arriaza was criminally charged by the Prosecutor’s Office for the crime of breach of duties after he refused to present the Minister of Finance, Alejandro Zelaya, before a commission of the Legislative Assembly, to render accounts on the use of public funds in the emergency of the COVID-19.
The Commission ordered the director of the PNC to bring the Minister of Finance to appear; However, Arriaza did not comply with the order for which he was prosecuted. The commission investigated the placement and destination of funds in Letes, Bonds and other securities issued by the Government of El Salvador, in the framework of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Arriaza Chicas excused himself from complying with the order to take Zelaya, arguing that the use of public force is governed by the principle of “last ratio”, as a limit to the exercise of power in relation to fundamental rights and that with Based on the reasons that Zelaya presented, he, as director of the police corporation, determined that the Minister of Finance had just cause for not having attended the summons.
For their part, Arriaza Chicas’s lawyers argued that the order issued by the Assembly for the police director to urgently bring Minister Zelaya was not legal.
Parallel to the judicial process that he was facing for breach of duties, the Legislative Assembly recently approved an opinion that was later communicated to the diplomatic corps accredited in the country and to the Prosecutor’s Office about the dismissal of Arriaza Chicas as director of the Police for violation of human rights.
The deputies approved on December 17 with 58 votes, 10 against and three abstentions, the binding dismissal of the Director of Police, Mauricio Arriaza Girls, for “serious human rights violations” due to the events that occurred on February 9. However, President Bukele stated that he would not comply with this order.