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Francisco Morillo & Helsinge defeat PDVSA in Switzerland

Gotham City reported yesterday "Affaire PDVSA: le ministère public rend 80 millions de dollars aux prévenus". In news that will surprise not a single person, Switzerland's Federal Tribunal decided to ignore evidence at hand and give back to Francisco Morillo $80 million that had been seized from personal and company accounts during a penal process that, while allegedly started by PDVSA, never got real traction within Nicolas Maduro's regime. The background of the case was the sham PDVSA US Litigation Trust, set up by corrupt Venezuelan officials and America's hotshot lawyer David Boies, which sought to extract billions from Trafigura, Glencore, Vitol, Lukoil and others.

Proceedings started in parallel in early 2018: a civil lawsuit in Florida by Boies, and a penal claim against Morillo et al in Geneva by Guerric Canonica acting on behalf of PDVSA. Boies was almost summarily denied when the Miami court found his trust's lack of standing and failure to produce PDVSA / Venezuela official witnesses. The Swiss proceedings took a little longer, aggravated by Juan Guaido's clumsy attempt to intervene through his "prosecutor" Ignacio Hernandez, who had been called as expert witness by Morillo against PDVSA in Florida.

A server allegedly containing evidence of Helsinge's corrupt deals with Trafigura, Glencore et al was at the core of this affair. However, despite having received the said server sometime in early 2018, probing authorities in Switzerland never accessed its contents. According to the ruling:

"Il est tout d'abord incontesté que les autorités pénales ont procédé à différentes mesures d'instruction depuis le dépôt de la plainte. Elles disposent ainsi notamment des données figurant sur le serveur US, ainsi que de celles saisies à Genève; ces éléments semblent en outre avoir été à disposition des autorités pénales depuis, au plus tard, la levée des scellés d'août 2018...  les données figurant sur les supports susmentionnés n'avaient pourtant pas encore été exploitées, "même de façon embryonnaire"..." [bold added]

That is, critical-to-the-claim evidence contained in the server and in other electronic formats and hardcopy files obtained after a raid to Helsinge's office in Geneva was never looked into by Swiss authorities.

Going after crooked trading houses is not something Switzerland and the Maduro regime are ever interested in.


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