Antonio Fretes made the decision after being involved in the scandal involving his son Amílcar, who is accused of trying to prevent the extradition of a drug trafficker to the US < /h2>
Antonio Fretes, president of the Supreme Court of Justice of Paraguay
The Supreme Court of Justice of Paraguay (CSJ) granted this Monday a permit “for an indefinite period” to its president, Antonio Fretes, after learning that his son Amilcarsigned a contract to represent a Brazilian citizen of Lebanese origin seeking a “legal exit” from his extradition to the United States.
The decision was adopted in an extraordinary session of the Court Supreme Court, which had as its sole point the treatment of a communication sent by Fretes last Friday, in which he requested permission to “devote himself to the attention of personal matters”, including his health, a matter that he considered “long postponed.”
The request was unanimously accepted by the eight Supreme Court ministers, who proposed that the First Vice President, Alberto Joaquín Martínez, take over the position of the holder of that power.
The president of the CSJ was left in the middle of the political storm that broke out after the newspaper ABC published last Thursday the images of a “Contract for the provision of professional lawyer services” that the official's son, Amílcar Fretes, signed in September last year with Sharif Kassem Hijazi.
The agreement, which the party involved assured, was terminated 30 days later and stipulated a payment of 368,000 dollars for professional fees, was made in the name of Kassem Mohamad Hijazi, arrested in August 2021 in an operation led by anti-mafia prosecutor Marcelo Pecci, assassinated last May.< /p>
Amílcar Fretes Escobar
Hijazi was eventually extradited to the United States last July.
Amílcar Fretes, who confirmed the existence of the contract on Thursday, resigned from his position at the Itaipu hydroelectric plant, run by Paraguay and Brazil, which was immediately accepted.
That same day, in a statement, the president of the CSJ declared “explicitly and emphatically that he has no connection” with what was expressed in journalistic publications that mention him.
“On several occasions he has stated and publicly emphasized his total disavowal of any person who invokes his name with the intention of evading his responsibilities before Justice”, he settled in his statement.
Kassem Mohamad Hijazi is sanctioned by the US for corruption in Paraguay and was detained by the Anti-Drug Secretariat of the South American country (TWITTER @SENAD_PARAGUAY)
Shortly before the Supreme Court meeting, former senator Marcelo Duarte , accompanied by deputies from the opposition Patria Querida Party (PPQ), presented a request for the Chamber of Deputies to meet “as soon as possible” in an extraordinary session, to “initiate the Political Trial procedure” against Minister Antonio Fretes, as provided for in the National Constitution.
Already on Friday, the President of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez, had indicated that Fretes “should think about resigning in charge”, although he admitted that the father should not always be responsible for what his adult son does.
In this context, the president was inclined to analyze “if it was generated direct influence peddling.” If so, he said, “categorically, Minister Fretes must resign or be politically prosecuted.”
(With information from EFE)< /i>