Corruption Investigation Continues Against Former Venezuelan Governor Rosales

Venezuelan National Assembly (AN) Legislator Mario Isea presented a new round of evidence to Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz on Tuesday.

Mérida, December 3rd, 2008 ( — Venezuelan National Assembly (AN) Legislator Mario Isea, the president of a special commission to investigate corruption charges against former Zulia State Governor Manuel Rosales, presented a new round of evidence to Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz on Tuesday.

According to Isea, Rosales is guilty of several infractions of the Law Against Corruption, including the channeling of public funds into private accounts, hoarding land and capital in the name of front persons, and complicity with fraud when he allegedly re-contracted with a local lottery after this lottery was proven to have committed fraud.

When Rosales appeared in a hearing before the National Assambly last Friday, Isea presented a long list of properties owned by Rosales and employees of his governorship in the United States and in Zulia state, and asked rhetorically how public functionaries could have acquired so much wealth.

Isea also played tape recordings of phone conversations in which Rosales allegedly distributes public funds to his allies.

Rosales said he has nothing to do with the property accumulated by his colleagues and staff and that Isea had violated the constitution by playing the recordings.

Rosales, who lost the presidential election to Hugo Chavez in 2006, was elected mayor of Maracaibo, the capital city of Zulia, in the regional and local elections on November 23rd.

The national investigation into corruption charges against Rosales began in late October, when President Hugo Chavez said Rosales, a known supporter of the April 2002 coup against Chávez, should be sent to prison for corruption, drug-trafficking, links to paramilitary death squads, and plotting to assassinate him.

Rosales is due to appear before federal prosecutors on December 11th.