Former Attorney Diego Garcia had no one to defend him in the National Assembly. Not even the correístas did, who during his government kept him ten years in office, but yesterday (and they were specific at this point), they abandoned him for having served the interests of the current president. After seven months of waiting and two days of debate, the political trial filed by Mae Montaño, who was also joined by Raúl Tello as an interpellant, was resolved with the censure of the former official and the sending of his case to the Office of the Prosecutor and the General Comptroller of the State.
The ex-attorney’s defense did not have a floor. Yesterday, when he took the floor for the second time in the Assembly, he again clung to a report (that of the Supervisory Committee) that for the Plenary is little more than a formality. That the Commission in-admissed three of the four accusations raised by Mae Montaño, Garcia insisted. That the Plenary can treat them again, several voices answered in different tones and with different arguments. “The Commission’s report,” said the Christian Socialist Henry Cucalón, “is enabling but not binding.” And he invited the ex-official, extremely punctilious with the legal issues, to “not detract from the political nature of the process”.
This second day of interpellation started with the exhibition of the evidence of charge by the proponent Mae Montaño, who mopped the floor with his victim. He said “incredible nerve.” He said “cowardly victimhood.” He said “dare size”. He showed a statement by Jorge Glas in the courts where the cases related to Odebrecht were aired and in which the former vice-president states: “Here, in the list of defendants, should be the procurator Diego García.” Before the restless eyes of the ex-servant he shuffled the figures of his promotional trips abroad: 396 thousand dollars for a film; 189 thousand for a book; 170 thousand for presenting it in London; 3.9 million expenses not related to the defense of the State … He explained his role (his omissions) in the return of the Brazilian construction company, and raised a series of questions of the type “Did not it seem strange that a company expelled of the country was making a transaction agreement with the State? “.
“The prosecutor of the decade sacked”, Montaño defined it. The legislators of CREO and Social Christianity welcomed this characterization (which outraged the correístas) and blamed Garcia for his connivance with all the corruptions of ten years. His attack was devastating and total and far exceeded the narrow limits of a handful of charges presented to the Commission.
The correístas washed their hands before the fate of García. Juan Cárdenas downplayed Odebrecht’s bribes (which he says do not exceed $ 850,000 in all of Latin America) and spent his time talking about the corruption cases of what he continues to call “the partycracy”: ancient history. There was only one legislator from her bloc who launched herself with determination against the former prosecutor and did it in a way that made the members of the ruling bloc nervous: it was Lira Villalba, member of the Supervisory Commission.
“Defaults that occurred during the period of Lenin Moreno are being judged here,” he said, and focused on one: the arrogation of exclusive functions of the Constitutional Court by the ex-prosecutor. According to this accusation, which was initially defended by Raúl Tello, García issued a constitutional ruling (something that is expressly forbidden to him) when the secretary of the Presidency, Eduardo Mangas, consulted him about the extension of the members of the National Electoral Council. Villalba’s interpretation is that, by acting in this way, he allowed the convocation of a popular referendum that his party insists on considering illegitimate. She and Hermuy Calle, another member of the Supervisory Commission, were the only correistas who voted in favor of censorship. The rest (24 in total) abstained.
Thus, the former prosecutor who until the last moment continued claiming the inadmissibility of his trial and only accepted to defend himself against one of the four charges against him, ended up being sentenced not for four charges, but for ten years of exercise. Ten years that today do not convince or theirs.
The Assembly vetoes Maduro
With 83 votes in favor and the rejection of the nine correístas that remained in the room (plus Silvia Salgado), the Assembly passed a resolution on Venezuela: to ignore Maduro’s government as illegitimate and to support the OAS resolution. The debate was raised last week by Fernando Flores (CREO) and, at first, rejected by the ruling party.
Due process. The defense of the former prosecutor was based on three denials: the procedure, the charges and the interpellant Raul Tello. (I)