Judicial system lets house arrest man exit Panama
PANAMA. After Ernesto Chong Coronado was singled out by David Murcia Guzman as his personal finance manager, Chong was placed under hou...
PANAMA. After Ernesto Chong Coronado was singled out by David Murcia Guzman as his personal finance manager, Chong was placed under house arrest as a key player a in the ongoing investigations of the DMG case.
But a call made by a local TV journalist to Chong’s cellphone confirmed rumors that Chong had left the country Wednesday evening, aboard a COPA airlines flight to Miami, Florida, claiming he had to attend to urgent business.
In the phone call, Chong claimed he had all of his permits in order to leave the country. By Friday, Chong was back in Panama.
Yet questions remain how he was allowed to leave the country.
Migration officers claim they were never notified of Chong’s status.
Attorney General Ana Matilde Gomez, said the Public Ministry takes full responsibility and that an internal investigation will be conducted to determine why Migration authorities were not notified that Chong could not leave the country. She added that Chong’s actions could prompt them to replace his house arrest with detention in jail.
According to experts in penitentiary matters, Chong’s case is a classic example of Panama’s sluggish judicial system.
The lawyer Cristobal Arboleda says the event shows utter negligence. “It plainly shows a lack of immediate actions that could have prevented a person under house arrest from leaving the country,” he said.
The Minister of Justice and Government Dilio Arcia confirmed that there were no irregularities in Chong’s trip because the Migration Offices were not notified of his inability to leave the country.