19 | OCT | 2019
Spanish court rejects lawyer’s request to release Alonso Ancira
The High Court insisted that the head of AHMSA must remain at the disposal of Spanish authorities throughout his extradition process to Mexico - Photo: Cati Cladera/EFE

Spanish court rejects lawyer’s request to release Alonso Ancira

18/06/2019
18:52
Luis Méndez / Corresponsal
Mexico City
-A +A
Interpol officials and Spanish authorities arrested Ancira at the Palma de Mallorca airport last month

Santiago Pedraz, a judge from the Spanish High Court, has refused to release Alonso Ancira, head of Mexican steel company Altos Hornos de México, S.A. (AHMSA). The suspect will remain in custody within a Spanish prison facility until his extradition to Mexico is processed, according to members of the Judicial unit.

Spanish authorities have warned that the Mexican businessman may still try to escape, which is why the National High Court dismissed a petition by the suspect’s attorney, Ismael Oliver, to grant his release, alleging that the accused had not committed fraud or acts of corruption, with which he is being charged.

The High Court insisted that the head of AHMSA must remain at the disposal of Spanish authorities throughout his extradition process to Mexico.

Moreover, Ancira’s lawyer has maintained his client’s innocence, stressing that his capture was unjustified in legal terms. He has even gone as far as to suggest that Ancira’s arrest was part of a vendetta orchestrated by the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Ancira is currently being held at a prison in Mallorca and his lawyer has claimed that the steel tycoon is in a fragile state of health.

The 67-year-old businessman suffers from diabetes and needs to take several medicines throughout the day.

The director of AHMSA rejected his deliverance to Mexican authorities on May 28 during an audience with judge Pedraz, who asked him if he accepted his extradition to Mexico.

Last month, Interpol officials and Spanish authorities arrested Ancira at the Palma de Mallorca airport in compliance with an international arrest warrant issued by the Mexican government for tax fraud and corruption.

The Mexican government issued the warrant based on an investigation by the Attorney General (FGR) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), which indicated that the suspect had conducted irregular transfers from AHMSA to offshore accounts linked to the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht and former Pemex director Emilio Lozoya Austin, who is still at large and for whom an international arrest warrant has been issued.

Ancira faces allegations related to the irregular sale of a fertilizer plant to Pemex during the management of Emilio Lozoya Austin. The state oil company paid a premium estimated at around MXN$500 million (USD$26.1 million) for the plant, which was still not operating this year, according to a scathing government audit of the 2017 operations of Pemex.

Mexico now has 20 days to provide documentation justifying the delivery of the steel tycoon to Mexican authorities, after which the High Court will start a long judicial process to extradite Ancira.
 

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