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Home / World / Mexico: Former President Enrique Peña Nieto charged with corruption and bribery

Mexico: Former President Enrique Peña Nieto charged with corruption and bribery



Enrique Peña Nieto speaks in Mexico City, Mexico.  Photograph photographs

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AFP

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Enrique Peña Nieto was the president of Mexico in 201

2-18

Prosecutors in Mexico have opened a corruption probe against former President Enrique Peña Nieto.

It comes after Emilio Lozoya, the former head of the state-owned energy firm, accused Mr Peña Nieto of taking millions in bribes and bribes from MPs.

Mr Lozoya was extradited from Spain last month to stand trial on corruption charges related to Brazil’s construction giant Odebrecht.

Mr. Peña Nieto, who was in office in 2012-18, has so far made no comment.

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Last year, a witness testifying in a U.S. trial of Mexico drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán said Mr Pe saida Nieto had accepted a $ 100 million ($ 77 million) bribe from the fraudster.

The former president also made no comment on that allegation, but he has previously denied allegations of corruption.

Did Emilio Lozoya say anything?

Mr Lozoya was a former senior official during Mr Peña Nieto’s 2012 campaign, and head of state oil giant Pemex from 2012 to 2016.

Mr Lozoya said Mr Peña Nieto and former Finance Minister Luis Videgaray had instructed him to curb more than $ 4 million in bribes from Odebrecht in the 2012 presidential election campaign.

In a second allegation, Mr Lozoya said that once in power Mr Peña Nieto and Mr Videgaray used a similar sum to bribe lawmakers to ensure the passage of a substantial energy reform bill through parliament.

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Reuters

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Emilio Lozoya (right) extradited from Spain after agreeing to co-operate with prosecutors

Mr Lozoya said he could bring in four witnesses as well as videos and other documents to support his allegations.

Mr. Lozoya was one of the most powerful figures in Mexico when he was an adviser to the president.

Neither Mr Peña Nieto nor Mr Videgaray commented on specific allegations against them. They have not been charged with anything.

However, Mexican Attorney General Alejandro Gertz considered the evidence quite important to launch an investigation into the matter.

In the past, no former president in Mexico has gone to jail despite successive governments being tainted by widespread corruption, says BBC correspondent in Mexico Will Grant.

Incumbent President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had previously said he was not in favor of bringing charges against his predecessor – but would postpone any decision taken by the attorney general.


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