President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Tuesday, November 3rd, that the Attorney General’s Office seeks to arrest former secretary Luis Videgaray for his alleged participation in the Brazilian Odebrecht bribery case.
During the morning conference, the president announced that a judge denied an arrest warrant against Videgaray, the highest-level official wanted by the Mexican justice, for not complying with the basic requirements.
“They informed me that a request in this regard was made to the Judiciary, but it was rejected because a judge considered that the investigation or the request that was being made was not well integrated,” said López Obrador when asked about a possible accusation against Videgaray .
“I have confidence in the prosecutor to act with rectitude and that there is also no persecution, that there is no revenge, that the law is applied without slogan,” he added.
One of the crimes that Videgaray allegedly committed is treason, which includes the federal Penal Code and whose penalty could range from five to forty years in prison and a fine of up to fifty thousand pesos.
Videgaray, a 52-year-old economist who served as Chancellor and Secretary of the Treasury during Enrique Peña’s term (2012-2018), was singled out by Emilio Lozoya, a former director of Pemex, for allegedly having received hundreds of millions of US dollars from Odebrecht to finance political campaigns.
Lozoya, who is on trial in Mexico after being extradited from Spain, also accused Peña, former presidents Felipe Calderón and Carlos Salinas and a dozen former officials of accepting bribes, receiving illicit payments and other acts of corruption for several years.
Emilio Lozoya made these allegations on August 11th, through a complaint of facts before the Attorney General’s Office (FGR).
Luis Videgaray is currently a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, for its acronym in English) and through a statement on his Twitter account, which he had not used since 2018, he said that Lozoya’s statement of facts is an attempt to evade the legal consequences of his actions as a public official.
“The only person responsible for the serious legal situation faced by him, his mother, his sister, and his wife is called Emilio Lozoya,” Videgaray tweeted.
For their part, MIT executives published a letter expressing their support for the former Mexican official.
With information from Reuters