An arrest warrant was issued earlier this month, for the former chief executive of state oil company Pemex on corruption charges linked to the massive scandal involving Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht.
“Emilio Lozoya, Pemex chief from 2012 to 2016 and a top adviser to former president Enrique Peña Nieto, is wanted in the case, along with his wife, sister and mother,” the national prosecutor’s office said.
But on Emilio Lozoya´s lawyer has now presented a federal judge an agreement that shows that Enrique Peña Nieto knew about the purchase of the Agro Nitrogenados plant, which the oil company made to Altos Hornos de México (AHMSA).
The agreement, which Lozoya received in time from the Presidency of the Republic, accredited the movements in Pemex and the knowledge that Peña Nieto had in this regard, according to the newspaper Reforma.
Federal Judge Luz María Ortega received 14 documentary pieces of evidence, which Lozoya presented as part of the injunction against the arrest warrant against him for money laundering in the purchase of Agro Nitrogenados.
Among the evidence highlights the writtten minutes of the Board of Directors of Pemex, which agreed to take note of the process of acquiring this plant, dated December 17, 2013.
Judge Ortega was the one who refused to summon ex-president Enrique Peña Nieto and ex-secretary of finance, Luis Videgaray, to appear as witnesses in the investigations for irregularities in the case of the purchase of the Agro Nitrogenados plant, a resolution that Lozoya challenged.
But Emilio Lozoya Austin filed an appeal for the principle of opportunity, similar to the protected witness program, to collaborate in the investigation for the alleged irregular purchase of the Agro Nitrogenados plant.
Through his lawyer, Javier Coello Trejo, the former official informed the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) that he is willing to provide detailed information on the legal truth, as well as to clarify the participation of high level officials, as reported “El Heraldo”.
The Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 256, states that the criteria of opportunity apply when it comes to offenses of patrimonial content committed without violence, while Article 257 establishes that the criminal action against the defendant or sentenced could be extinguished, as a benefit of law.
The legal figure also details that the principle can be accessed when the accused provides essential information for the prosecution of a crime more serious than the one that he is accredited, that the information leads to the arrest of a different accused.
This opportunity criterion may be ordered at any time and even before the decision to open a trial is issued. The application for the principle of opportunity was registered in the middle of June and the agent of the Public Ministry of the Federation, in charge of the case, is still analyzing it.
Lozoya Austin states in the document that an arrest warrant is still in force for his alleged responsibility in money laundering actions, whose conduct does not merit unlawful pre-trial detention; and for that reason, in case that the guarantees are granted, he would be willing to collaborate (as a protected witness).
In turn, the FGR reported that the file in which the participation of former members of the Board of Directors of Pemex is reviewed in the alleged irregular purchase of Agro Nitrogenados, in 2014, at a surcharge of 475 million dollars, without Pemex obtaining any benefit, is in the final stage of integration.
The file contains the names of 15 people, including secretaries, undersecretaries and coordinators of Pemex, the Secretaries of Finance and Environment (Luis Videgaray and Pedro Joaquín Coldwell), who had to know, by regulation, about the purchase headed by Lozoya.
The Peña Nieto’s administration “Pandora’s Box” could be opened any minute now, and who knows what else can come up of that sewage…
by Alejandro Azcárate for The Yucatan Times
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