Ex-Police officer implicates a second Justice in bribery case

Javier Villa Stein

Javier Villa Stein listens to the declarations of Walter Vásquez Vejarano after a meeting with President Alan Garcia yesterday.

(LIP-wb) The plot thickens.
According to an article in today’s "La Republica", ex-Police officer Wilfredo Ipanaqué implicated a second Justice in the corruption scandal that currently shakes Peru’s justice system. Apparently Ipanaqué said during his interrogation at the Cotabambas police station that provisional Justice Eduardo Palacios opened the doors for him to the office of Javier Villa Stein, President of the Transitory Constitutional Court, which is actually in charge of handling Ipanaqué’s request for his reinstatement to the police force.

According to the protocol of his testimony, to which La Republica had access, Ipanaqué traveled from Piura to Lima on August 7 to get a health check. Once he had arrived he took advantage by going to Palace of Justice to gather information on his pending case. There he met with Gloria Ludeña who told him that she was the secretary of Justice Palacios and coincidentally she had access to his case file (Nº 706 – 2006). She suggested discussing the subject during a lunch meeting. The next day she took him to the office of her boss, Justice Eduardo Palacios.

After he explained his situation to the judge, Palacios asked for 1,500 dollars in exchange for pleading his case before the Constitutional Court of Villa Stein. He added that the Justice himself took him to the third floor office of Villa Stein where he was greeted by his secretary named Maria Elena. Ipanaqué affirmed she was already informed about their visit. Soon, according to Ipanaqué, they returned to Palacios office where the judge gave him a handwritten note with his cell phone number 9659-5881 and his name. The police kept the note as evidence.

Ipanaqué claimed that Palacios asked him for two bottles of black-label whiskey and Absolut vodka which he would give to Villa Stein as a gift to speed up the process.

He also maintained that Palacios told him to return on August 13 with four kilos of beef jerky and three kilos of Chifles banana chips. Ipanaqué complied and gave the package to Palacios’ driver, Victor Anyarín.

Ipanaqué then claimed to have given the Justice S/. 1,000 Soles in order to help a favorable ruling in his case and that secretary Gloria Ludeña then requested an additional sum of money for an employee who worked under judge Javier Villa Stein.

Walter Vásquez Vejarano, President of Peru’s Supreme Court, explained that Monday night, in the middle of the scandal, Villa Stein told him that Ipanaqué’s case had been solved on August 21. His request for reinstatement into the police force had been rejected.

Judge Javier Villa Stein told reporters last night that this accusation is one of Ipanaqué’s strategies to discredit him and to pay revenge. “This is just silly”, he said referring to Ipanaqué’s claims and assured that he and the other members of the court are straight and honest magistrates.

Palacios is currently imprisoned on remand at the San Jorge penitentiary. Yesterday judge Jose Luis Lecaros went there in order to continue with his interrogation. However, a request by Palacios’ lawyer Cesar Nakasaki to delay questioning until next Tuesday was granted so that the defense has more time to prepare.

Until now Justice Palacios has not rendered a statement before the district attorney or police because obviously he still has judicial immunity. For that reason he also refused to sign the personal civil registry and the paper for the seizure of the 400 Soles that Ipanaqué had given to him.

(Source: "La Republica")

read also our previous related articles:

– The corrupt judge – something smells fishy (Sept., 6, 2006)
– The history of a corrupt Peruvian Supreme Court judge (Sept. 5, 2006)
– Peruvian Supreme Court justice arrested on bribery charges (Sept. 4, 2006)