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Frustrated trip to Venezuela: Jadue goes to court for a guarantee precautionary hearing

Before 1:00 p.m. this Friday, the mayor of Recoleta, Daniel Jadue, arrived at the Justice Center.

The reason for his arrival is due to the precautionary guarantee hearing requested by his defense, after the Investigative Police stopped his departure from the country at the Santiago Airport on Wednesday night. His destination was Venezuela and, as he noted, he was invited by the government of Nicolás Maduro to participate in an international body related to municipalities.

The PDI alerted prosecutor Giovanna Herrera, who in turn contacted Jadue’s lawyer, Ramón Sepúlveda. The pursuer told her that if the trip took place, I would request an arrest warrant. The prosecutor warned that the mayor is one month away from being formalized for the crimes of bribery, treasury fraud, fraud and unfair administration, associated with the purchase and sale of supplies to confront Covid-19 by the Chilean Association of Municipalities with Pharmacies Popular (Achifarp). As it was, Jadue gave up traveling.

The mayor later accused “brutal abuse” and announced legal action. This, he said, because he did not have precautionary measures that would prevent him from leaving the country.

Upon his arrival at court, accompanied by his lawyer, the mayor demanded “a minimum of respect” and evaded press inquiries. At the same time, he added that he would not speak to the media on his way out.

At the hearing, held in the Third Guarantee Court of Santiago, the lawyer recounted the events and assured that the prosecutor’s call was a “illegal threat”. In the conversation, the professional stated, Prosecutor Herrera argued that “there is no extradition treaty with Venezuela.” The lawyer criticized the prosecution’s presumption about Jadue’s possible escape to Venezuela prior to its formalization. In that sense, he said that since they learned of the formalization, Jadue has traveled five times, two of them to Venezuela. These trips occurred in November and December 2023.

“We believe that several legal and constitutional rights and guarantees enshrined by our justice system have been violated,” said the private defender, who pointed out that what the PDI did was an “illegal retention or detention.”

At the hearing it was the regional prosecutor of the North Central Prosecutor’s Office, Xavier Armendáriz, who presented the arguments of the Public Ministry. Armendáriz defended the “early warning” under which Jadue was and through which the police alerted the prosecution. Furthermore, the regional prosecutor assumed full responsibility for what happened. “I want to state for the record, your honor, that what was done by the prosecutor Giovanna Herrera is on the instructions of this regional prosecutor who is his hierarchical superior and by law I have my position in the processing of the cases. In other words, I want to be clear about that, it is an action carried out by a direct order from the speaker,” he noted.

“In no case has the prosecution coerced, warned, prevented, threatened or deprived anyone who uses their freedom of movement. He simply spoke with the lawyer in the case, which he himself has pointed out is frequent, conversations with the prosecutor are recurrent. The situation was pointed out, informing him, that in the face of this new scenario the Prosecutor’s Office was evaluating the possibility of requesting an increase in the intensity of the precautionary measures,” added the prosecutor.

Previously, in an interview with 24 Horas, the jurist said that they would file a complaint against prosecutor Herrera. In addition, he indicated that they will turn to the national prosecutor, Ángel Valencia, to carry out an administrative summary and evaluate the removal of Prosecutor Herrera and the regional prosecutor. “We believe that Prosecutor Herrera has lost objectivity and so has the regional prosecutor regarding this investigation.”

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