The Miami Venezuelan Maletagate trial part VIII: Antonini begins testimony, confirming US$ 4.2 million in second suitcase

September 24, 2008

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A thinned
out Guido Antonini showed up in Court today and basically confirmed a lot that had been said before or
that had been dug up by Argentinean newspaper la Nacion.

Among the highlights:

—Antonini confirmed that
PDVSA VP Diego Uzcategui asked him two days after the suitcase was caught where
the other suitcase with US$ 4.2 million was.Antonini claims he had no idea
about it.

—Antonini also confirmed
that his suitcase was checked after most of the others were already in the
cars.  While his suitcase was being inspected Daniel Uzcategui stayed with
him and took some US$ 30,000 from the suitcase at some point.

—He also reiterated what
the secretary of Claudio Uberti had said, that Antonini did indeed attend a
reception at the Argentinean Presidential palace, the Casa Rosada. At that
reception, the Minister of Planning of Argentina greeted him, contradicting the
Minister’s statement that he does not even know Antonini and Claudio Uberti at
that same reception offered him “whatever he wanted from Argentina”
because he had done a great favor for that country. At that reception he says
Ramirez sees him, but does not say hello to him.

—Antonini testified that
both Duran and Kauffmann offered him their jet planes to go to Spain or Israel until the storm over the
Maletagate scandal had passed.

—In the tapes played,
Duran says that PDVSA will give the money (for Antonini) to the DISIP and these
in turn will give it to his lawyers. Duran states that he does not trust
Minister of Energy Ramirez, saying “Ramirez and Uzcategui got you into
this problem”.

No new dramatic
revelations, but consistent with what the tapes said and what Duran, who is
being accused discussed earlier in the tapes. The Minister of Planning of
Argentina has tried to deny knowing Antonini and or his presence at the
Presidential Palace, but both Antonini and Uberti’s secretary have confirmed
it.So far the main facts of the story are consistent with the tapes.

As people have said in the
comments: “Pass the popcorn” the robolution will continue to
entertain and surprise”

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