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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cerro Dragón bribes probe: Judge Canicoba Corral would dismiss nullity request

Federal Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral would dismiss a nullity request filed by Pan American Energy oil company (PAE) to invalidate several actions carried out in the case which investigates the alleged payment of bribes to exploit Cerro Dragón oil basin in Chubut until 2047.

According to information Diario Patagónico newspaper could access, PAE on Wednesday asked federal judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral the nullity of the latest executed actions, among them, proceedings led by Prosecutor Guillermo Marijuán on February 24 at the local Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in the city of Rawson, Chubut province. During those proceedings, Marijuán had requested information about three areas former prosecutor Eduardo Samamé had pointed at as the nexus for the bribe payment.

The nullity request, which Canicoba Corral is expected to dismiss within the next hours, was submitted by attorney León Arslanian, who had already advised PAE oil company back in 2014 after reports indicated BP had made a voluntary presentation before the SEC to investigate alleged irregular payments within the negotiation.

The nullity request could be dismissed by Canicoba Corral after Prosecutor Marijuán rules the same way, validating the executed actions in the case originated after the 2007 deal with Chubut’s former governor Mario Das Neves.

The newspaper added Prosecutor Guillermo Marijuán must travel to the United States to execute a formal request before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after the first request submitted to the United States’ SEC had been returned to Argentina’s federal court because it didn’t fulfill a number of requirements that commission demands.

Radical party (UCR) Senator Mario Cimadevilla of Chubut confirmed to Ámbito Financiero yesterday that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating the alleged bribes paid by BP (formerly known as British Petroleum) in Argentina.

According to the lawmaker, Pan American Energy, of which BP is the majority shareholder in a venture that also includes Bridas and Chinese investors, allegedly paid US$300 million to ensure a 40-year extension of its licence to exploit the Cerro Dragón oil basin in Chubut.

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Tags:  Cerro Dragón  BP  PAE  energy  Argentina  judiciary  SEC  US  





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