Attorney General Wilfredo Chávez reported this Friday that the United States judiciary has decided to postpone the hearing of former Minister Arturo Murillo, accused of the alleged crime of bribery and money laundering for the overpriced purchase of gas, to May 23 to postpone his term as Government Minister.
At a press conference, Chávez indicated that the postponement of Murillo’s hearing was at the request of the former minister’s defense and due to the “discretionary principle” of the judge in charge of the case.
Chávez reiterated that Arturo Murillo has until May 2 to plead guilty and avoid a trial.
On the other hand, and due to the postponement of Murillo’s hearing, Chávez also indicated that the hearing of the other people involved in the case (Sergio Méndez Mendizábal, former Chief of Staff of the Government Ministry; Phillip Lichtenfeld, Bolivian businessman-American , as well as Luis and Bryan Berkman, both owners of BTS) who are also incarcerated and have already pleaded guilty in the US.
Between November 2019 and April 2020, Arturo Murillo, in complicity with others such as former Defense Minister Luis Fernando López, paid bribes for the Bravo Tactical Solutions (BTS) company to purchase tear gas.
That company bought the non-lethal material from the Brazilian Cóndor for $ 3.3 million and sold it to Bolivia for $ 5.6 million.
Murillo, López and their other accomplices sent the money to US banks to make various payments, and then the stolen money, $2.3 million, went into their personal accounts.
Because of the use of banks in the northern country to legalize the stolen money, the US state initiated criminal proceedings against Murillo, Sergio Méndez Mendizábal, former chief of staff at the department; Phillip Lichtenfeld, Bolivian-American businessman, and Luis and Bryan Berkman, both owners of BTS.