The Latest: Prosecutors target leaked Puerto Rico chat case
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The Latest on protests against Puerto Rico’s governor (all times local):
A Puerto Rico judge has issued search warrants for the cellphones of government officials tied to a crude and offensive online chat whose leak has set off a political crisis that could bring down the governor.
It’s not clear what authorities are investigating. But in the online chat, officials talked about government contracts, among other things.
One of the search warrants said that government officials used the chat to transmit official and confidential information to private citizens in potential violation of ethics laws.
A Puerto Rico judge has issued search warrants for the cellphones of government officials tied to an online chat that has sparked a political crisis in the U.S. territory.
Territorial Justice Department spokesman Kelvin Carrasco told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the warrants were approved overnight and were issued for those who have not yet turned over their phones. He did not name the officials and declined further comment because the investigation is ongoing.
The warrants follow massive protests demanding the ouster of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, who participated in an offensive, obscenity-laden online chat between him and his advisers that was leaked and triggered the crisis. The group also insulted women and mocked constituents, including victims of Hurricane Maria.
The political crisis in Puerto Rico has escalated to a point where many wonder how Gov. Ricardo Rosselló will be able to govern the U.S. territory in the coming days and possibly weeks amid the massive protests to oust him.
Rosselló dug his heels in late Monday after what seems to have been the biggest protest the island has seen in nearly two decades. He told Fox News that he has already apologized and made amends following the leak of an offensive, obscenity-laden online chat between him and his advisers that triggered the crisis.
But many Puerto Ricans remained unsatisfied and vowed to keep protesting until he steps down, no matter how long it takes.
Tuesday marks the 11th consecutive day of protests as government officials around Rosselló keep resigning.