Hugbel Roa was arrested over the weekend during an operation by the National Anti-Corruption Police, where various corruption schemes in the Judiciary, PDVSA and other branches of public power are being investigated. He was part of the Commission to investigate the crimes committed by the AN (with an opposition majority) 2016-2020
The 2020 National Assembly approved this Tuesday, March 21, the waiver of the parliamentary immunity of deputy Hugbel Roa (PSUV – Trujillo) when he was linked to a corruption plot that diverted 3,000 million dollars from Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), and that cost him the charge to now former Minister of Oil Tareck El Aissami.
The waiver of the immunity of Roa, former Minister of University Education, was approved unanimously. After approving an agreement in support of corruption investigations, Deputy Diosdado Cabello requested an urgent motion to present a communication from the Plenary Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ).
* Also read: Jorge Rodríguez: “There are 19 detainees” for acts of corruption
In the brief AA10-L-2023-0001000, with a presentation by the president of the TSJ, magistrate Gladys Gutierrez, it is stated that after a request from the Public Prosecutor’s Office it was evidenced that the facts commit Hugbel Roa “to having flagrantly attended in corruption offences. The preliminary trial of merit is not appropriate as they are common crimes, so it must be prosecuted in competent courts.
Cabello reiterated that, since the merit trial did not proceed as described by the TSJ, it was necessary to waive the immunity “of this citizen”, whom he did not call by name at any time. The president of the National Assembly, Jorge Rodríguez, also referred in a derogatory way when requesting the search of “this subject.”
He also recalled article 200 of the Constitution: «The deputies to the National Assembly will enjoy immunity in the exercise of their functions from their proclamation until the conclusion of their mandate or the resignation of it. The alleged crimes committed by the members of the National Assembly will be heard exclusively by the Supreme Court of Justice, the only authority that can order, with the prior authorization of the National Assembly, their arrest and continue their prosecution. In case of a flagrante delicto committed by a parliamentarian, the competent authority will place him or her in custody at her residence and will immediately notify the fact to the Supreme Court of Justice.
* Also read: Who are those involved in the PDVSA corruption plot?
Hugbel Roa was arrested over the weekend during an operation by the National Anti-Corruption Police, where several corruption schemes are being investigated in the Judiciary, PDVSA and other branches of public power. He was part of the Commission to investigate the crimes committed by the AN (with an opposition majority) 2016-2020.
The parliamentarian is associated with Petrocedeño, a subsidiary of Pdvsa. It is a company with shareholdings from France and Norway. “To speak with the president of Petrocedeño, you had to go through Hugbel,” commented a source linked to the industry, according to the pro-government newspaper. Last News.
agreement against corruption
The 2020 National Assembly unanimously approved, in its ordinary session, an agreement in support of the investigation and fight against corruption initiated by the administration of Nicolás Maduro.
The brief was presented by Deputy Diosdado Cabello. The also first vice president of the PSUV considers “a slap in the face” and “sad” that “companions of this Assembly are linked to criminal acts. What do we do? Do we crouch? We hide? We face them.”
He also highlighted the need to “get rid of anti-values. With clear positions against the ‘friends’ who start with flattery and end up making proposals (…) A deputy or deputy should not carry folders to do business with anyone ».
Deputy Cabello recalled that AN 2020 appointed a commission to investigate alleged acts of corruption within the interim government, but did not mention that Deputy Hugbel Roa was vice president of that body.
He said that on other occasions the National Assembly has waived parliamentary immunity by receiving the resignation of deputies linked to criminal acts. “This is not the first time this has happened. But it is important to say that in the Bolivarian revolution we have never become a society of accomplices. Every time we have had to face acts of corruption, we face it.
*Read also: Jorge Rodríguez: “There are 19 detainees” for acts of corruption
While Luis Augusto Romero (Avanzada Progresista), representing the Democratic Alliance bench, assured that “what has been seen in the last 72 hours has left us all undaunted, some of us silent, and all the citizens of walking”.
He also recognized that corruption “is not new, but it had never been seen at these levels (…) The outgoing minister just a few months ago denounced an embezzlement of 4.8 billion dollars for the issue of cryptocurrencies.”
Romero said that this is not a government or opposition issue, and for this reason they approved the draft agreement. «Many phrases are said, but the rulers are measured not by what they say, but by what they do. We will see if the government has the political will to punish those responsible.”
In the session on Tuesday, two draft agreements were also to be discussed. Deputy Yurami Quintero (PSUV – Nacional) asked to defer the second discussion of the comprehensive care bill for people with autism spectrum disorder, whose reading had barely advanced a few articles, to submit it for review again within the Family Commission.
The president of the AN 2020 requested that said project be approved before April 2, when World Autism Awareness Day is commemorated.
While Pedro Infante, president of the Comprehensive Social Development Commission, also asked to suspend the first discussion of the organic law project against all types of discrimination, “to review the purpose” of this norm.
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