02 Jul 2020
The former chief executive of Mexican state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, Emilio Lozoya, has agreed to be extradited from Spain to Mexico to stand trial on corruption charges, Mexican Attorney General Alejandro Gertz said on Tuesday.
Lozoya, 45, who was once a close confidant of former President Enrique Peña Nieto, is wanted in his homeland on charges including bribery and money laundering in cases involving Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht SA as well as a Mexican fertilizer firm.
Lozoya has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
The cases raised questions about how much others in the last government new about his actions, and the extradition should boost President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s contention that he is serious about cracking down on corruption.
In a televised statement, Gertz said on Monday that Lozoya, who was arrested in the Spanish city of Malaga in February, had accepted in writing to a Spanish criminal court to be extradited to Mexico and to turn himself in to Mexican authorities.
Lozoya “offered his cooperation to establish and clarify” the charges against him,” Gertz said.
Lozoya fled Mexico once word had leaked about the case being built against him, and police spent eight months looking for him in Germany, Britain, the United States, France, Italy, Russia and Spain before he was caught, the attorney general said.
By David Alire Garcia and Diego Ore, Reuters, 30 June 2020
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