(Then24.com).- Olston Livingstone Ureña, Public Defender of Garabito, dstated that without the presence of a judge, a prosecutor and him as a public defender, the Drug Control Police (PCD) He took more than 800 kilos of cocaine from a mangrove swamp and transferred it to Jacó, violating, in his opinion, the chain of custody of it.
Livingstone Ureña provided these statements to the Judicial Inspection Court, which was holding a hearing in a disciplinary case that he was still against a judge named Mora Herrera and who was dismissed by the magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice when they issued a dismissal in favor of two Colombians, whom the police linked to that shipment.
Judge Mora Herrera told Then24.com that he had been reinstated in his position after filing a precautionary measure in the Contentious Administrative Court.
On April 6, 2021, they were captured by officers of the National Coast Guard Service (SNG), officers of the Public Force and PCD, two Colombians with the last names Barco Palacio and Grueso Cuerowho, presumably, were related to the shipment of more than 800 kilos of cocaine.
On March 10, 2022, a preliminary hearing was held in the Garabito Criminal Court, since the Public Ministry had filed an accusation against these two suspects. That same day, by resolution of 3:26 pm, on March 10, 2022, Judge Mora Herrera issued a definitive dismissal in favor of both defendants and ordered their release.
What is the chain of custody? According to the Online Legal Information Center of the Bar Association and the University of Costa Rica, it is:
“The set of stages or links developed in a legitimate and scientific manner during the judicial investigation, in order to: A) Avoid the alteration (and/or destruction) of material evidence at the time (or after) of its collection and B) Give full scientific guarantee that what was analyzed in the forensic laboratory (or presented at trial) is the same thing collected (or confiscated) at the scene of the crime (or in another place related to the fact)”.
Why are there detainees?
Olston Livingstone Ureña, Public Defender of Garabito, in his account before the Judicial Inspection Court, commented that in the case of the drug found in a mangrove in Guacalillo de Tárcoles, and he was called by the Prosecutor at about 11:30 am April 6, 2021; then at 2 or 3 in the afternoon they tell him that they found the drugs and at 7 at night they tell him to go to court to deal with the defendants.
“A boat had been found at 11 in the morning, and the PCD police had used the dogs and they had not found a single trace that that boat had drugs. Then, about 4 hours later, I don’t remember exactly the time, they find a dbeg hidden in a mangrove and they take the drugs themselves, the same PCD, without the Prosecutor being present, without me being present, without anyone being present, only policemen, and transport it to Jacó. And around 5 in the afternoon, curiously they find some people of Colombian descentwho put the dogs on them without a single clue, and brought them under arrest as if they were the holders of the drug,” said the public defender.
Livingstone Ureña said at that hearing that at that moment he told the Prosecutor that it seemed strange to him that they brought those detainees “and especially that the dogs had passed them and that they had no clue about that drug situation. From there something was not correct in that file and I denoted that there really was a great deficiency in the investigation of it ”.
The public defender said he later dropped the case because the suspects named José Pablo Badilla as their private defender.
In addition, when he had access to the accusation, he noted what he considered to be a “lot of shortcomings.”