17:12 GMT20 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal has sentenced to prison terms six former US executives of CITGO oil company, a subsidiary of Venezuelan state oil giant PDVSA, on corruption charges.

    "The Caracas Tribunal for Justice sentenced to prison the CITGO ex-executives," the court said on Twitter on Thursday.

    According to the local media, Jose Pereira, the CITGO ex-president, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for embezzlement, cooperation with contractors, criminal association and money laundering. Another five former executives were sentenced to jail terms ranging from eight to ten years. The defense plans to appeal the court decision.

    The defendants, all Venezuelans, some of whom have dual US citizenship, were arrested in November 2017 after being summoned to a meeting at the Caracas office of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, owner of Citgo. They were detained in Caracas and transferred to the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence after which they were placed under house arrest in 2019.

    embezzlement, prison, PDVSA, Citgo, Venezuela
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