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Daily News - 05 November 1998

31 year old woman to preside transcendental case
A 31-year old woman Dominican judge, Katia Miguelina Jiménez has been entrusted with the hearings of the most transcendental case in modern Dominican judiciary history. Jiménez will issue a judgment in the case against former military accused of having murdered journalist, Orlando Martínez Howley in 1975. Jimeenez was appointed judge in April of this year, during the judges revision carried out by the Supreme Court of Justice. Jiménez graduated with honors from the law school of the Universidad Iberoamericana, and carried out postgraduate studies at the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña. She has specialized in penal law.

Transcendental case opens at city courthouse
The 23-year old case regarding the assassination of Orlando Martínez Howley, the former editor of Ahora news weekly magazine and columnist of El Nacional newspaper opens at the Palacio de la Justicia court house today. Martínez had been critical of the Balaguer regime of the time. The military of 1975 was known for its repression of leftist sectors and those that opposed the Balaguer regime. Martínez Howley was assassinated inside his car near the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo on 17 March 1975. The case against military of the time is being transmitted live by TV and radio by Cadena Nacional de Noticias.
Yesterday, District Attorney Francisco Domínguez Brito requested that the General Procurator of the Republic Mariano Germán revoke the order that released the suspect intellectual author of the crime, Retired General Salvador Lluberes Montás from jail. Lluberes was released 13 July 1998 by the former procurator Abel Rodríguez del Orbe on grounds of the failing health of the general. The general was chief of the Armed Air Forces at the time. He was also chief of the National Police under a Joaquín Balaguer administration.
Domínguez Brito bases his petition on grounds that Lluberes Montás has not constituted lawyer for the case, which is expected to delay the opening of the case today, Thursday, 5 November.
Then President Joaquín Balaguer has kept the crime alive by creating suspense among Dominicans by leaving a blank page, where information on the authors of the crime would be written in the future, in his book "Memorias de un cortesano en la Era de Trujillo." The former President has the information to fill in that page will be known after he dies. The former nonagenarian statesmen, though, has eluded commenting on the case, and declined the invitation to testify, citing health reasons.
Investigations into the case during the Balaguer administration were put aside. Reportedly, late chief of the Police Neit Rafael Nivar Seijas, commissioned to investigate the death, advanced on these investigations, but the findings were not released. Back then newspaper reports mentioned as responsible Air Force Major Joaquín Pou Castro (believed to have driven the car which transported the assassins), and military Luis Emilio Beras de la Rosa, a member of the Banda Colorá, a repression unit of the Balaguer government.
The brother of Orlando Martínez Howley, Edmundo, was found dead in December 1995, supposedly for his efforts at uncovering the authors of the murder.
Crimes in the DR prescribe after 20 years, but the case was kept alive by then judge Juan Miguel Castillo Pantaleón, who reopened the case in time, reportedly using a file on the case investigations carried out by former chief of the Police Rafael Neit Nivar Seijas. The judge was also assisted by a confession by José Isidoro Martínez González, who is dyeing and is interned at the military hospital. Martínez González is a former chief of the J2 unit of the Ministry of the Armed Forces and the E2 of the Air Force, both intelligence outfits.
Others implicated in the case are:
Military Mariano Durán, who is fugitive from justice, and has been mentioned as one of two persons who fired at Orlando. The Listín Diario indicated that the judiciary has requested his extradition from the US, but has not received an answer from the US.
Rafael Alfredo Lluberes Ricart, is the other person who allegedly fired at Orlando Martínez. Lluberes Ricart is a close friend of Pou Castro, and a renown member of the then Banda Colorá, a repression unit of the Balaguer government.

Sammy Sosa in Japan
Sammy Sosa arrived to Tokyo Wednesday, 4 November for a series of exhibition games against the Tokyo Giants and Japanese all-stars. Dominican Chicago Cubs' player is taking advantage of his presence in Asia to encourage the Japanese to make donations for Dominican victims of Hurricane George which left hundreds of victims in his own hometown, San Pedro de Macorís. "Everything the people of Japan can do for me and my people, we'd appreciate it,'' he said.
Sosa is receiving most of the attention of the touring Major League players as he is preceded by the fame of ending the year with 66 home runs, five more than Roger Maris's 30 year old record, and only four short of Mark McGwire's new record.
While this is a friendship series, the Major League players are out to do their best against the best of Japanese baseball players. "We're not scared," Sosa said. "That could be my mother up there and I'd still play my best."

RD$44,671.7 million national budget for 1999
The National Development Council, head by President Leonel Fernández, approved the 1999 Budget Bill for RD$44,671.7 million. The budget will be sent to the National Congress next week. Rafael Camilo, director of the National Planning Office, said that significant increases have been set aside for health services, housing, potable water, construction, tourism, education and agriculture sectors. The government is assigning 66.4% to current expenditures and 29.2% to capital investments.
Temistocles Montás, Technical Secretary of the Presidency, explained that the income is estimated based on a 6% increase of the Gross Domestic Product, an inflation rate of 6%, and a RD$400 million decline in income taxes expected to be reported by Dominican businesses that suffered losses from Hurricane Georges.
The 1999 budget is 14.3% greater than the 1998 budget. Of the total, RD$43,570.7 million is derived from internal sources and RD$1,101 million from external sources.

A call for a non-politicized electoral court
Members of 20 leading civil society organizations requested that the solution to the present political crisis not be the distribution of positions within the board of the Junta Central Electoral, the body in charge of organizing the national elections, to the different political parties. Speaking for the organizations, businessman José Manuel Paliza and Francisco Castillo, of the National Council of Businessmen (CONEP) alerted, "No party director or party militant should be an electoral judge.
The main focus of the present political impasse is that the president of the board appointed by the PRD-majority Senate is singled out as a militant PRD man. The PRSC opposition party has contested this situation.
Former president of the Junta Central Electoral, Dr. Cesar Estrella Sadhalá also expressed his concern that the political parties gathered for talks sponsored by the highest hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in the DR choose to appoint representatives of the PRSC and PLD to the board, expanding the number of judges to seven as the solution to the present crisis. Dr. Estrella, who presided over the first undisputed presidential elections in years in 1996, said that to politicize the board would be a step backwards. The success of the 1996 board was attributed to the fact that the members were not known for their political affiliations.

State enterprises serve as welfare entities
Government subsidies to four state entities, the Corporación Dominicana de Empresas Estatales (CORDE), Consejo Estatal del Azucar (CEA) and the Corporación Dominicana de Electricidad (CDE), and the smaller Corporación de Hoteles Estatales cost tax payers RD$5,000 million in 1998, or 13% of the total national budget. Eduardo Selman, director of CORDE, says that if the government is able to reduce these subsidies by privatizing these entities, the savings could be invested in health and education services.
Governments use the state enterprises primarily as political awards to party militants. Most jobs are known as "botellas", or jobs where people are paid salaries for doing little or nothing.
It is estimated 40,000 persons could lose their jobs. The government has announced it has allotted RD$900 million to make severance payments to the employees that would be fired.

British Chamber has new office
The British Chamber of Commerce, which promotes trade and business between the DR and Great Britain, has a new office located in suite 203 of the Edificio Santanita I, at 253 Avenida San Martín. The office was recently inaugurated in the presence of new British ambassador, David Ward. Lic. José María Cabral, president of the Chamber reminisced about the early days of the chamber that was founded through the effort of Fernando González Nicolás, first president of the organization.

National Zoo reopens
The National Zoo of Santo Domingo, one of the largest and most modern in the Antilles, reopens its doors Saturday, 7 November after several weeks closed due to damages to the natural environment. Those visiting will be able to meet the new baby money, born after the Hurricane, more than 100 new iguanas and soon some 90 animals that are coming from Mexico. New exhibition areas have been set up for birds. The Zoo has exhibit areas for African species, such as rhinoceros, zebras, hippopotamus, antelopes, buffaloes, elephants and monkeys, tigers and lions. Also there are areas where native snakes can be viewed, wild pigs, giant turtles, mules and donkeys, and crocodiles.
The park dates back to 1975 and is located in Arroyo Salado, Arroyo Hondo. It has an extension of 1,250,000 meters, including eight kilometers of interior roads. The Zoo is open to the public Tuesday to Sunday from 9 to 5 pm. Admission fees are: RD$15 adults and RD$10 children under 12.

Baseball scores for Wednesday, 5 November
Escogido beat Gigantes, 7-1 in Santo Domingo.
Aguilas beat Licey Tigers, 5-1 in Santiago.
Triple tie between Tigres, Leones and Aguilas.

Belgian world motocross champ in Puerto Plata
The world motocross champion, Stefan Everts, will participate in the VII Competition of the National Motocross Championship. The event will take place at the La Gran Parada track of Puerto Plata. Everts is in Puerto Plata on vacation. He is the world champion of the 125 cc division, and a three times past champion in the 250 cc division.

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