Emilio Lozoya will remain in prison while his extradition from Spain is pending
Emilio Lozoya Austin was appointed as Pemex chief by Enrique Peña Nieto - Photo: Jon Nazca/REUTERS

Emilio Lozoya will remain in prison while his extradition from Spain is pending

Newsroom & Agencies
Mexico City
Alberto Morales, Pedro Villa y Caña, Luis Méndez,
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Lozoya could spend 15 years in jail for his involvement in a bribery scheme set up by Odebrecht in Mexico

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Spanish judge Ismael Morena ruled Emilio Lozoya, the former Pemex chief accused of bribery, money laundering, and fraud in Mexico, will remain in pre-trial detention, he also imposed unconditional imprisonment after Lozoya refused to be extradited to Mexico.

The decision was made after the magistrate considered Lozoya could flee Spain as the former Pemex chief was carrying a fake ID when he was arrested by the Interpol.

The hearing took place via video conference in Malaga, although it had been announced that he would be transported to Madrid. Mexican authorities have 40 days to request his extradition.

After the judge considered the accusation against him are serious, including his alleged involvement with OHL and Odebrecht, Lozoya will likely be sent to a prison in Madrid. The extradition process could take months.

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Lozoya Austin was on the run for nine months. The Interpol and the National Police were after him after they noticed his presence in different Spanish cities; however, his financial resources and international contacts allowed made it difficult to arrest him.

In case Spanish authorities decide the former Pemex director must be extradited, Emilio Lozoya will likely fly back to Mexico in a commercial flight, escorted by Mexican police officers who must travel to Spain.

If extradited to Mexico, Lozoya could spend 15 years in jail for his involvement in a bribery scheme set up by Odebrecht in Mexico, and additional years for his alleged involvement in other corruption cases such as OHL and Agronitrogenados.

Although the extradition process could take months, foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard said Mexican authorities will analyze the extradition process so that Emilio Lozoya is extradited to Mexico as soon as possible. Ebrard added that Mexico’s embassy in Spain and the Foreign Ministry’s legal team are monitoring the process.

According to journalist Ricardo Rafael, who writes a column for EL UNIVERSAL, Spanish authorities might want to keep Lozoya in Spain since he is allegedly involved in a corruption case in Spain: OHL, the Spanish construction company accused of bribing officials in exchange for contracts. Before working at Pemex, Lozoya worked for OHL in Mexico.

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On Wednesday, Lozoya’s lawyer, Javier Coello, said his client had yet to decide whether to fight extradition from Spain or voluntarily return to Mexico.

“It’s his personal decision. We have all the evidence necessary to defend him,” Coello said.

Today, when asked about Lozoya’s arrestest, President López Obrador said the fight against corruption is ongoing. This is the second major arrest for thus administration; the first was Genaro García Luna, a former Security Minister arrested in the U.S., where he is accused of taking millions from the Sinaloa Cartel to aid the criminals in their operations to smuggle cocaine and other drugs into the U.S.


Emilio Lozoya’s arrest in Malaga, Spain

On February 12, the former Pemex chief was arrested in Benahavís, Malaga, near La Zagaleta, the most luxurious and exclusive complex in Europe, which offers extreme security measures. Mansions are worth up to €54 million.

La Zagaleta is one of many gated communities around Marbella, one of the most popular cities among jet setters.

Mónica Manser, the commercial director for La Zagaleta Service, told local media that “after 25 years of experience, we know what really matters to our clients: complete discretion, excellence, and highly-personalized services.”

However, this region is known for being popular among members of organized crime and is a refuge for European mobsters, especially Russian and Italian, who are looking to go unnoticed.

According to local media, the place where Emilio Lozoya was arrested is home to criminals who traffic drugs, weapons, and humans.

However, according to local media, the inhabitants at La Zagaleta didn’t know about the presence of Emilio Lozoya. It is believed he used false documents to enter the luxurious neighborhood or that he could have been invited as a guest.

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