[Version en español] The criminal complaint against Pablo Solón presented by the Vice-Ministry of Anti-Corruption of Bolivia on September 2, 2016 –the investigation file of which could only be accessed by the accused comprehensively 322 days after the accusation (on 21 July 2017)-was brought forward on the basis of alleged offenses of “illegal appointments” and “breach of duties”. These crimes, established in articles 154 and 157 of the Criminal Code, are punishable by deprivation of liberty for a maximum of four years.
According to Article 29(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Article 101(b) of the Criminal Code, the criminal action expires “in five years, for offenses punishable by deprivation of liberty whose legal maximum is less than six and greater than two years”.
The charge against Solón, according to the complaint made by the the Vice-Ministry, is supposedly because “as head of the Permanent Mission of the Plurinational State of Bolivia he appointed Mr. Rafael José Archondo Quiroga as Ambassador Deputy Permanent Representative of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the United Nations” through a note dated January 19, 2011, which was 6.5 years ago. This is supposedly the only act of Solón, who ceased to act as head of the Permanent Mission of Bolivia to the United Nations and government official at the end of June 2011, which was 6 years ago.
Neither the complaint by the Vice-Ministry nor the various documents in the case file mention that at any moment any economic harm has been caused to the state of Bolivia which, according to Article 29 Bis of the Code of Criminal Procedure, is the only cause for which the above mentioned expiration of charges would not apply.
Protected by law and taking into account that 6 years and 6 months have passed, Pablo Solón presented this July 25th a memorial addressed to the judge of anti-corruption and violence against women of the city of La Paz, requesting them “to issue a resolution declaring the exception proven and the criminal action expired”.
Within 24 hours, the judge must inform the Vice Ministry of Anti-Corruption and the Prosecutor of the request of Solón and by next week the judge should call a hearing to decide on this issue of expiration.
The expiration request is personal but once the journalist Rafael Archondo is legally notified he will can also request the expiration of this unjust criminal action.
The fact that the Vice-ministry of Transparency and Anti-corruption has presented this penal action against Solón and Archondo, knowing that the case was legally expired, demonstrates that the intention behind the accusation is to harrass, frighten and silence Solón for his critical position regarding the Chepete and El Bala mega-dams.