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Former Venezuelan Attorney General In Costa Rica Says Maduro Pocketed Millions in Public Funds

Luisa Ortega in a press conference on Monday in San Jose, Costa Rica, held at the Ministerio Publico. Costa Rica’s Attorney General, Jorge Chavarria, is seated to her right.

In Costa Rica on Monday, Venezuela’s Former Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz said that she can prove that her country’s president, Nicolas Maduro, pocketed between US$8 million and US$10 million in public funds.

According to Ortega, to undertake the “corruption plot,” a Venezuelan company “named Contextus Comunicacion Corporativa was used as a front.”

“There are many officials compromised by the issue of corruption (involving Brazil’s) Odebrecht company, apart from President Nicolas Maduro, who removed from the treasury between $8-10 million in cash and paid that to an important firm,” said Ortega at a press conference from the Ministerio Publico in downtown San Jose.

The firm, Contextus Comunicacion Corporativa, she continued, is owned by Monika Ortigosa, the wife of Alejandro Escarra, who is the nephew of Hermann Escarra, a member of the Constituent National Assembly (ANC), whose members were recently elected and tasked by the Caracas government with rewriting the Constitution.

The corruption operation “involves (former Vice President) Elias Jaua, Jorge Rodriguez, Jesse Chacon and Maximilian Sanchez,” Ortega added.

She said that she recently turned over proof of this and other cases to “US prosecutors” and on Monday also to Costa Rican Attorney General Jorge Chavarria, who also serves as head of the Ibero-American Association of Public Prosecutors.

Luisa Ortega (right), on Monday at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, located in San Jose. In the photo are the head o the Court, Roberto F. Caldas (at the head of the table) and judges Elizabeth Odio Benito and Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, sitting across the table.

On Monday, Chavarria personally greeted Ortega’s arrival at the Juan Santamaria airport, in San Jose. Ortega also met with former President Oscar Arias Sanchez and to denounce human rights violations in her country with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos in Spanish) that is holding the “119 Período Ordinario de  Sesiones” session from August 21 to September 1, 2017, in San Jose.

Luisa Ortega, pictured on Monday with Oscar Arias, the Nobel peace prize-winning former president, at his home in Rohrmoser

But Ortega, for security reasons, she said refused to reveal the details of her agenda, adding that she will not return to Venezuela because her life is in danger there. Ortega added that she will, however, will continue fighting from outside Venezuela to ensure that her homeland “returns to democracy and freedom.”

“In Venezuela, it’s not possible to see justice done and so I’m turning over evidence to different countries,” Ortega said.

She also said that powerful ANC member Diosdado Cabello is also involved in the Odebrecht scandal, but she did not reveal further details, although she did say that evidence of this fact was turned over to US and Brazilian prosecutors.Ortega was ousted by the ANC,

Ortega fled her country after the regime raided her home, accused of committing “immoral acts” and claims of her husband being part of an extortion plot allegedly run from within her office.