The Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice annulled a preliminary hearing where precautionary measures were granted in favor of two men accused of trafficking in strategic material, money laundering, illegal mining and improper handling of dangerous substances, among other crimes, as read in sentence 154 drawn up by magistrate Maikel Moreno.
The beneficiaries of the measure are: Antonio Briceño Vera, and Luis Miguel Vivas Mata. Marco Antonio Flores Moreno, the third defendant is being held at the headquarters of the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (Dgcim), an organization that detained the three in the parking lot of the Eurobuilding hotel, located in Puerto Ordaz (Bolívar) on 22 August 2020.
The preliminary hearing where it was debated whether or not to order a trial against the three detainees, was held on August 1st in the 5th Control Court of Bolívar, Puerto Ordaz extension, with the presence of deputies to the National Assembly, in the framework of the approach to police checkpoints carried out by the Commission for the Revolution of the Judicial System.
During the hearing, the deputy Antonio Benavides Torres took the floor, who stated that he was taking control of this judicial act "because he was the highest authority and was above the authority of the Court, Public Ministry and Public Defense," according to the record. .
Because of this, Benavides Torres was to order that a precautionary measure of freedom be granted to two of the three defendants: Vera and Vivas. The court agreed to such measures under protest, according to the minutes.
"This Court records that, by virtue of the constant threats to personal and judicial liberty on the part of the representatives of the National Assembly, to this Court, I certify that it signs the corresponding ballot of freedom of the accused", says the record of the audience.
The magistrates found inaccuracies, defects and inconsistencies in the minutes of the preliminary hearing, which is in violation of due process, according to the ruling.
The Chamber described the actions of the Bolivarian court as "a serious fact", especially for having allowed a deputy who is not part of the judicial structure to intervene. In this regard, the Chamber recalled the principle of exclusivity of jurisdiction, constitutionally attributed to judges "with an exclusive and excluding character."
For these reasons, the magistrates ordered the trial of the three defendants transferred to Caracas and ordered the recapture of the two beneficiaries.