After three postponements, the hearing of the former government minister Arturo Murillo on the tear gas case will take place in Miami today. The case of the other defendants will be clarified in a further hearing for September 8th.
The former government minister to the former interim president, Jeanine Áñez, has been in the US since May last year on alleged money laundering and bribery offenses, as well as illegal activities in the purchase of anti-riot equipment from an international company.
Murillo’s hearing was due to take place in June but has been postponed twice, first to July and then to August. The US Attorney’s Office requested another postponement, but it was not confirmed, so the hearing was ratified.
The attorney general said that, with the assistance of attorneys hired in the United States, he was “following up” in order to properly handle the case.
Murillo’s so-called “detention hearing” is being led by Judge Alicia M. Otazo-Reyes from Miami.
If convicted, the former minister faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors said that Sergio Rodrigo Méndez and the American Luis Berkman, 58, were also arrested; Bryan Berkman, 36, and Philip Lichtenfeld, 48, who are found to have paid $ 602,000 in bribes to Bolivian government officials on behalf of Murillo, Méndez and another unidentified Bolivian government official.