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  HOME | Latin America (Click here for more)

Lugo Offers to Go to Court in Paternity Suit

ASUNCION – Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo is ready to go to court on paternity charges filed by a woman who later denied the fact, a government official said on Saturday.

Communication Minister Augusto dos Santos told reporters Saturday that next Tuesday he will answer questions from the press on the matter.

Dos Santos said that the head of state still has not made a statement on the charges to avoid a “greater controversy” during Holy Week.

“Out of respect for a process that is underway and for the person involved in this matter we prefer to respond specifically to what the judiciary and the political body officially request starting next week,” he said.

Charges against the president, 57, were denied Wednesday by Viviana Rosalith Carrillo Cañete, 26, who, according to the press, had demanded that the paternity of her 2-year-old son be legally established.

The woman handed a note to reporters in front of her home in the town of Fernando de la Mora near Asuncion, in which she rejected “categorically having signed a paternity suit against the president of the republic.”

Nonetheless, attorney Claudio Kostinochok, who identified himself as Carrillo Cañete’s legal counsel together with his colleague Alberto Acosta, said in interviews with various local media that he has “for eventual testing, the signature” of this woman as well as the “copy of an extensive complaint” that she drew up and that was reproduced in Asuncion newspapers.

Kostinochok also said that he was in negotiations with representatives of the executive branch to seek an agreement about the charge and the information “filtered” to the press.

The media reported hours before the denial that Carrillo Cañete included in the complaint “various pieces of evidence such as telephone messages and statements by witnesses to confirm that she lived as couple” with the ex-bishop and current head of state.

The Vatican conceded to Lugo in 2008, in a decision without precedent, his return to the laity, after he was suspended “a divinis” when he renounced his vows in December 2006 to dedicate himself to politics.

The ex-bishop has been president since last Aug. 15, after his victory in the general elections of April 20 at the head of the APC Patriotic Alliance for Change, a coalition covering a wide ideological spectrum.
 

 

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