For the first time, Costa Rica started a trial against a former President, Rafael Angel Calderon, accused of aggravated corruption for supposedly masterminding a plan to obtain economic benefits from a government procurement project.
Anyone can witness the trial (if they get there in time to grab one of the 30 seats available to the public!) and authorities expect the defendants — six, in addition to the ex-president — to compensate the country with US$135 million. If they succeed, it’d be the first time in Latin America that a public institution gets compensated for the damage caused by corrupt acts.
Interestingly enough, the former President just launched his political campaign for the 2010 national election. He intends to be a presidential candidate and, simultaneously, run for Congress. If he succeeds at least in the latter, he’d have legal immunity from a potential conviction (MPs in Costa Rica are legally exempt from criminal law).
The case started after an investigation by La Nacion
See also the Global Integrity Report: Costa Rica
— Hazel Feigenblatt