After determining that there are convincing elements for prosecution, the TSJ requested on July 19 to the National Assembly, its authorization to continue with the procedure. Once approved, the Venezuelan Parliament established that Nicolás Maduro should be separated from his position in order to face Venezuelan criminal justice.
Judge Antonio Marval informed Efe in Miami that this is an “oral and public trial” against Maduro following the complaint filed last March by former Attorney General Luisa Ortega
Ortega, who was removed from office after showing differences with the government, is considered “legitimate” by the TSJ in exile.
The prosecutor, who is exiled in Colombia, will be responsible for exposing the accusation and presenting the witnesses, and the defendant’s defense will be in charge of a “public defender”.
As this is a trial against the President of the Republic, the Constitution indicates that the whole process should be assumed by the full court of the Supreme Court, that is, that the case should rest on a single court and a single instance.
Marval explained that it is expected that the trial, which 14 of the 27 magistrates in exile will attend in Bogota, will have an estimated six to seven audiences.
Marval explained that 13 of the magistrates in exile are in the US, 6 in Chile, 4 in Colombia and another 4 in Panama.
According to the court, this legal process “for acts of self-corruption and legitimization of capital” is related to “payments made to public officials and ghost companies by the Brazilian construction company”.
It is estimated that in this phase of the procedure, the parties involved will be heard, the receipt of evidence will begin, which will lead to a judgment that may be acquittal, conviction or dismissal. If Maduro does not show up, he will be assigned an advocate.
The Supreme Court appointed by the Venezuelan Parliament, with an opposition majority, was installed last October at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS), in an “unusual” act that began its “judicial year”.
Last March, the TSJ in exile admitted Ortega’s lawsuit that links Maduro to corruption related to the Brazilian construction company and in which it was requested to issue an arrest warrant against him through Interpol.
A month later, the court had declared the suspension of Maduro as president of Venezuela and his disqualification from holding public office in the framework of the investigation.
The trial in Bogotá, which can be seen live online, seeks to determine whether Maduro had responsibility, or not, in the commission of the crimes for which he is being tried.
The hearing will be from 10.00 local time in Bogota (15.00 GMT) and will be broadcast in the Doral City Hall, a city near Miami, with large Venezuelan population