Opens a round of statements of five days in which the judge will question about twenty people
MADRID, 20 Sep. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The former ambassador of Spain in Venezuela Raúl Morodo (2004-2007) declares this Monday before the magistrate of the National Court Alejandro Abascal as accused of the money that he and his environment would have received from the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA, in what represents a new impulse to this judicial investigation.
The new head of the Central Court of Instruction Number 1 agreed last July a round of statements that will be held between Monday and Friday and in which more than twenty people will intervene, including defendants and witnesses.
The main course is served this Monday, when Morodo and his son Alejo are expected to declare, as well as the former wife of the first Cristina Cañeque and the wife of the second, Ana Catarina Varandas, all as investigated. The next day, the also accused Carlos Adolfo Prada, Marisol Varela and Ana Korina Ulloa will appear.
Abascal will also have the opportunity to ask 16 witnesses. On Tuesday he will hear from Nervis Villalobos, former Vice Minister of Energy of the Government of Hugo Chávez between 2004 and 2006 who was arrested in Madrid in 2017 at the request of the United States for his alleged involvement in a corruption plot linked to PDVSA, although he is already free. And on Wednesday Guillermo Morodo, brother of the former ambassador, will testify, followed by the others.
Abascal has thus accepted the proceedings proposed by the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, considering them “pertinent, necessary and proportionate” to clarify “definitively the facts and alleged culprits.”
Anti-corruption argued that it was necessary to listen to Morodo again, in addition to other investigated and witnesses, in relation to the bank documentation that has been obtained from both Spanish entities and other countries and with the files seized in some registries.
The previous instructor of the cause, Santiago Pedraz, followed the trail of the money. Thus, he asked the United States to provide information on movements in the bank accounts of PDVSA and Morodo’s son, some of which were justified with an invoice signed by René Arreaza, who was the general coordinator of the Venezuelan Vice Presidency of José Vicente Rangel.
Investigators suspect that Raúl Morodo and his closest family circle received between 2011 and 2015 more than 4.5 million euros from PDVSA “lacking any real justification and commercial logic.” The Public Ministry pointed out that these facts could constitute crimes of money laundering, corruption in international commercial transactions, documentary falsification and against the Public Treasury.