Costa Rica court sentenced ex-president to prison on corruption charges


On April 27, 2011, former Costa Rican president Miguel Angel Rodriguez was found guilty of corruption charges and sentenced to five years in prison. While president, Rodriguez accepted more than $800,000 in bribes from global telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent in exchange for a deal with the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE). The deal allowed Alcatel-Lucent to place 400,000 cell phone lines in his country. In December 2010 the company reached a $137 million settlement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) over this and similar bribery incidents in Honduras, Malaysia and Taiwan. Rodriguez served as president of Costa Rica from 1998 to 2002. In 2004 he briefly served as head of the Organization of American States (OAS) but was forced to resign after the bribery charges surfaced. In October 2009 another Costa Rican president, Rafael Calderon, was convicted on corruption charges and also sentenced to five years in prison.

Learn more about Costa Rica and the laws governing corruption from the JURIST news archive.


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