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At the forum "Young and Committed", Commissioner Iván Velásquez called upon the youth to join forces in fighting impunity.

PRESS RELEASE 016

COMPLAINT LODGED AGAINST LAWYER LEA DE LEÓN MARROQUÍN

Guatemala, March 22, 2011. The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) filed a complaint before the Honor Court of the Guatemalan Bar Association (CANG) against lawyer Lea Marie De León Marroquín. The complaint concerns Marroquín's public defamation of the investigation methods, expert witnesses and prosecutors in the Rosenberg case.

De León Marroquín is the defense counsel of Nicolaid Julio Rodolfo Ibarra Figueredo, who is charged with collusion, conspiracy to collude and obstruction of justice in the aforementioned case. CICIG participates in the case as a complementary prosecutor.

On August 23, 2010, the lawyer filed a memorial before the Special Unit of the Prosecutor's Office to Support CICIG requesting that statements be taken from 11 journalists and that two expert opinions be sought: one regarding writing samples and the other in relation to the media, with the aim of establishing whether Ibarra Figueredo participated in a smear campaign against the former Commissioner Carlos Castresana Fernández, CICIG and the judge overseeing the case, Verónica Galicia of the Tenth Trial Court.

The lawyer filed this petition one day prior to the deadline within which the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) had to file charges against the accused individual; it would have been impossible for the MP to obtain the expert opinions in one day.

On September 14, the pre-trial hearing to open oral arguments was held, where De León Marroquín requested that the case be provisionally closed on the grounds that the MP had not obtained the expert opinions. The judge accepted the petition and ordered the MP to fulfill the request.

The judge set a hearing for January 12, 2011 to present evidence, in accordance with the written and oral petition made by De León Marroquín at the aforementioned hearing.

The MP proceeded with fulfilling the request of De León. However, the latter said the MP had gathered illegal evidence, even though she was present when some of the proposed statements were taken and she also accompanied her client when he had his writing samples taken for the corresponding test.

This demonstrates the falseness of the statements made by De León Marroquín to different media outlets in which she said that the evidence had been gathered behind her back, in an illegal fashion. She also said that she had never requested such actions. Therefore, the attitude of De León is unjustifiable and she has no right to invoke the right to a defense. Furthermore, she has demonstrated her intention to unduly hamper the progress of proceedings against Ibarra Figueredo.

The expert opinion on the writing sample concluded that the hand writing of the documents subjected to analysis was that of Ibarra Figueredo and that the writing samples were taken in the presence of his defense counsel De León Marroquín. Furthermore, the expert opinion of the media determined that there had been a smear campaign against CICIG and the judge overseeing the investigation.

The Commission presented the corresponding evidence to support the allegations made against the lawyer.

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  The Republic of Guatemala, a mountainous country that lies in the Central American isthmus, has an estimated population of 13 million people.
  Guatemala won its independence in 1821, following almost three centuries of Spanish colonial rule.
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