The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on a judge and a prosecutor for the sentencing of six U.S. oil executives.
The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on the Venezuelan judge and prosecutor behind the bribery convictions of six U.S. oil executives.
The six employees of Houston-based Citgo were lured to Caracas just before Thanksgiving in 2017 under the pretext of attending a business meeting.
Once there, they were driven from the headquarters of Citgo’s parent company, state-owned oil company PDVSA, by masked and heavily armed security forces, accused of promoting a never-executed proposal to refinance some $ 4 billion worth of money. Citgo bonds by offering a 50 percent stake in the business as collateral.
The men, all but one American citizen, were finally convicted last month and sentenced to between 8 and 13 years in prison. President Nicolas Maduro accused them of “treason”.
Judge Lorena Cornielles and prosecutor Ramon Torres presided over the trial, which, following Wednesday’s action, will be barred from doing business in the United States and will have bank accounts or property confiscated.
“The unjust detention and conviction of these six American people also demonstrates how deeply entrenched corruption and abuse of power are in Venezuela’s institutions,” Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said. “The United States remains committed to protecting its citizens and targeting those who contribute to the usurpation of power by the illegitimate Maduro regime in Venezuela.”