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Former Pemex director Emilio Lozoya to remain in Mexico City prison

Mexico City, Mexico — After a five-hour hearing Wednesday morning, a judge ordered Lozoya to remain in prison. At the request of the Attorney General’s Office (FGR), the former director of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), Emilio Lozoya is to remain in preventative detention.

Lozoya is currently in the North Prison of Mexico City on charges of alleged corruption linked to bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht

During the hearing in the courts of the North Prison of Mexico City, agents of the FGR asked Judge José Zúñiga to change the precautionary measure that had Lozoya walking free. They argued that to date, Lozoya has not met the requirements to obtain a criterion of opportunity that offers him benefits in exchange for cooperating with the investigation.

Representation of the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) of the Ministry of Finance argued that it had several open investigations against Emilio Lozoya, referring to him as a flight risk. They also requested preventive detention.

Pemex’s lawyers joined the request to also change the precautionary measure. With this request, the FGR asked to put an end to the negotiation they have had with Lozoya since he was extradited from Spain last year.

Judge José Zúñiga determined that Emilio Lozoya has sufficient resources to escape and ordered him to remain jailed.

The FGR imputes crimes of illicit association, bribery and operations with resources of illicit origin for allegedly having received bribes of more than $10 million dollars from the Brazilian company Odebrecht.

He is also accused of receiving $3.5 million from businessman Alonso Ancira, who was the owner of Altos Hornos de México (AHMSA), in exchange for contracts and the purchase of the Agro Nitrogenados plant at an unjustified surcharge. His trial is set to begin December 3.