The Criminal Chamber of the Spanish Audiencia Nacional rejected the appeal brought by the former director of Altos Hornos (AHMSA), Alonso Ancira, and ordered his surrender to Mexico.
In a 15-page order, Spanish judges reject Ancira’s “political persecution” and consider that the corruption offences for which he is persecuted are also punishable in Spain.
Lee: Alonso Ancira volunteered in Spain to re-enter prison, after one year of bail
Ancira was arrested on 28 May 2019 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and is linked to the corruption plot for which Pemex’s former CEO Emilio Lozoya is also prosecuted.
Between June and November 2012, Altos Hornos made four transfers for $3.4 million to Tochos Holding Limited, a company linked to Emilio Lozoya through his sister Gilda Susana.
“There are no business links between the two companies, no business. Transfers are an act of triangulation of funds through economic transfers (“resources from illicit activity”) into a bank account in Switzerland, where they are entered, in favour of a company incorporated in the virgin islands, – an offshore financial centre of dubious fiscal transparency – in which Mr Lozoya’s participation has been mediated through his sister’s trusted figure , which acts as a testaferro,” says the car.
Read: Lozoya File: Step by Step, How Odebrecht and Altos Hornos Bribes Allegedly Delivered to You
Subsequently, on November 14, 2012, Lozoya bought a home in the residential area Loma de Bezares for an amount of 38,175 million dollars, receiving Tochos two other transfers from Altos Hornos of half a million and one million dollars.
In turn, on December 17, 2013, Lozoya proposed the rehabilitation of an agronitrogenate plant owned by a company owned mostly by Altos Hornos and eventually ended up buying it. The acquisition is paid $275 million, when the company was valued at $58 million.
For judges, the first act could constitute a co-bribery offence, while the second would be their consideration, which would confirm the wrongdoing.
Ancira’s lawyers had argued that it was strange for the donation to take place before the unfair benefit, but the judges respond that “what matters is that both are clearly related and concerted”, leading them to infer that both actions had previously been planned by Ancira and Lozoya, which could be considered a fraud or embezzlement of public resources.
In this way, judges consider that the offences of money laundering and bribery are persecuble in Spain, allowing Ancira to be extradited.
He also claimed the defense of the former director of Altos Hornos that the crimes would have been committed when he was not yet a public official, as he was not appointed until Enrique Peña Nieto took protest as president. However, the judges recall that Ancira was part of the priista’s campaign and also participated as head of international affairs for the elected representative. In addition, it considers pre-December 2012 payments as part of the agreement, which will materialize after Emilio Lozoya is appointed to the head of Pemex.
Another argument of Ancira was to deny the relationship between money transactions, the purchase of the house and the acquisition of the nitrogen plant. But the judges argue that they cannot get to the bottom of the case, since this, in any case, would be something that Mexican justice, which is what extradition is sought for, would be something that Mexican justice, which is what extradition is sought for.
Spanish judges also reject the last two allegations of Ancira’s defence. On the one hand, they deny that the offences have been prescribed and, on the other hand, they also rule out that the former director of Altos Hornos is suffering political persecution.
In the latter case, the defenders argued that the Mexican authorities knew at all times the whereabouts of Ancira, who traveled to the United States and then to Spain, and that they expected him to come to Spain to detain him because they assumed that extradition would be easier. This statement does not sit well with the Spanish judges, who consider this a “new speculation of a victimistic, unproven nature”.
Ancira presented as evidence various press cuts, which for the magistrates “evidence the exclusive political rivalry between different teams”, but not a persecution.
In addition, the judges recall that the fact for which he is persecuted is a common crime, corruption.
“There is a denunciation of overprice fraud in the purchase of a useless and obsolete agri-nitrogen plant, which producedor enormous economic damage to Mexican public coffers and a consideration in a luxury property in Mexico City, which is what is at the heart of what is pursued by the fact that it has tried and momentarily managed to hide it, introducing into the Mexican lawful market such an asset through such complicated operation with triangulation of economic shipments abroad, to company constituted in an off shore paradise, in fractional deliveries of money, with the use of a family testaferro, and great harm to public money, circumstances that objectively have nothing to do with political persecution”, says the car.
Finally, the judges recall that the apprehension order remains in force as long as no Mexican authority has communicated otherwise and recalling that a Mexican judge overreached it on condition that Ancira came up and paid bail, something that has not happened.
With the rejection of the appeal filed by Ancira, progress is made in the extradition process, which has yet to go through the Council of Ministers of Spain to be finally approved.
The former director of Altos Hornos is currently in prison after voluntarily surrendering to spanish police after the Audiencia Nacional rejected his appeal.
The rejection of the appeal gives freeway to its delivery, to Mexico, although this will not occur in the coming days.
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