Wednesday, November 29, 2023

UK court releases ex-governor’s wife on bail of US $193,000

A judge in the United Kingdom has granted bail to Karime Macías, wife of former Veracruz governor Javier Duarte, while she awaits a hearing over extradition to Mexico.

The Mexican government had 60 days from the date of her court appearance yesterday to formalize the extradition based on a warrant issued on May 28 for the diversion of 112 million pesos (US $5.8 million) from the treasury of Veracruz.

Federal authorities said the judge imposed preventative measures intended to guarantee her presence at the hearings in which the legitimacy of the extradition will be determined.

The news agency Notimex said those measures included bail of 150,000 pounds sterling (US $193,000) and remaining in London, where Macías has resided since April 2017 after the arrest of her husband in Guatemala.

No other details of the six-hour hearing have been released.

Mexican authorities said Macías was arrested Tuesday in London, but her attorneys said their client appeared before the judge on her own volition after a summons was issued.

Extradition proceedings were begun in May 2018 when a district court judge in Xalapa, Veracruz, issued an arrest warrant for Macías.

The extradition request was formalized on October 31, 2018, and in August the petition was ratified with a 42-page account of the charges against Macías.

The account charged that as head of the local DIF family services agency from 2010-2016, Macías ordered the signing of contracts with 33 “ghost companies” as a means of diverting funds.

In December 2018, the Secretariat of Finance revealed that it had lodged a complaint against Macías for tax evasion. According to the accusation, she failed to pay 2.4 million pesos (US $125,000) in taxes in 2011 and 2012, derived from credit card purchases of over 7.6 million pesos (US $397,000).

In September 2017, Javier Duarte was sentenced to nine years in prison for money laundering and involvement in organized crime.

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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