US Oil Executives Jailed for Corruption in Venezuela

US Oil Executives Jailed for Corruption in Venezuela.

Six US oil executives have been jailed after being found guilty of corruption by a court in Venezuela. All the men worked for Citgo, which was a US refining company owned by Venezuela’s state oil firm, they were arrested in the capital Caracas three years ago- they all denied wrongdoing. Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice announced the verdicts and prison sentences but offered no other comment on the trial’s outcome.

Citgo’s former president, Jose Pereira, was sentenced to over 13 years in prison and given a $2m (£1.5m) fine. The others received sentences of between eight and 10 years. The others, who were all vice-presidents of the company at the time, have been named as Jose Luis Zambrano, Alirio Jose Zambrano, Jorge Toledo, Tomeu Vadell and Gustavo Cardenas.

One of the group’s lawyers said that the men planned to appeal and described them as “political prisoners”. “The evidence for the crimes they are accused of was not there, it did not even mention the six of them,” lawyer Maria Alejandra said.

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Tony Winterburn

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