Judge Throws out Case Filed against Scherer Ibarra Lawyers

Former Mexican presidential legal advisor Julio Scherer Ibarra. Photo: Google


A federal judge on Thursday, May 19, dealt Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (FGR) a major judicial setback by ordering the dismissal of a case filed against three lawyers by fellow lawyer Juan Ramón Collado accusing them of extortion.

Collado, who previously served as former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s most trustworthy legal advisor, is currently in prison awaiting trial for alleged acts of embezzlement and disapprobation of government funds.

The suit against the lawyers was aimed at Julio Scherer Ibarra, a close political ally of and former chief legal advisor to Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), now on the outs with Federal Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero, a man renowned for persecuting his enemies, including his own sister-in-law.

Scherer Ibarra has alleged that Collado is being used as a tool by Gertz Manero to harass him and his team in exchange for a promised release from prison by the FGR.

Many opposition politicians and observers have claimed that the charges by Collado against Scherer Ibarra and his lawyers were trumped up by Gertz Manero to persecute him for political reasons.

And in response to mounting political tensions between Scherer Ibarra and Gertz Manero, Scherer Ibarra became a target of the FGR. The FGR filed charges of extortion  against him and his team of lawyers, using Collado’s testimony against them, which many have seen as an act of vengeance.

Federal Judge Felipe de Jesús Delgadillo Padierna also ordered that the audio and video of the 23-hour hearing concluded on Thursday to be sent to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), so that it can investigate Collado and the FGR prosecutors for “irregular conduct and improper acts committed.”

The judge accused the FGR for making a “fictitious accusation” against Scherer Ibarra, and the other lawyers, while holding them indefinitely without trial, which Delgadillo Padierna described as “a violation of the right to defense and the presumption of innocence.”

“Not only has the FGR investigated Julio Scherer Ibarra unduly, but it also doing the same with the other lawyers by refusing to take their testimony, which constitutes sending them a veiled threat,” said Delgadillo Padierna.

“If there is perversity in the actions of the Prosecutor’s Office, the victims are going to need God as their lawyer.”

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