April 5, 2023 -A judge in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday ordered an ex-presidential candidate held under house arrest and two former high-ranking officials jailed while awaiting trial in a record $347 million embezzlement case linked to illegal campaign financing.
Gonzalo Castillo, a former public works minister who won 37% of the vote when he ran in the 2020 general elections and lost to current President Luis Abinader, was held under house arrest on $365,000 bond.
Donald Guerrero, former treasury minister, and José Ramón Peralta, former administrative minister to the presidency, were ordered held without bail for 18 months.
The judge also banned former comptroller general, Daniel Omar Caamaño, from leaving the country, and placed former director of the State Sugar Council, Luis Miguel Piccirilo, under house arrest.
It wasn’t immediately clear if their attorneys would appeal the decision.
A total of 20 suspects have been arrested in the case.
Officials of Gonzalo Castillo’s Dominican Liberation Party have accused prosecutors of investigating only former government officials while turning a blind eye to corruption allegations against Abinader’s current administration.