Petkoff and Poleo blast Venezuela’s Attorney General

February 2, 2005

Today, Tal Cual Editor Teodoro Petkoff was called to testify as a witness in the case the Government is carrying against those that participated in the events of April 2002, According to Petkoff, who was visibly upset, the questions asked of him violate his Constitutional right to protect his sources as a reporter. Petkoff said he was asked about the meeting he had with Pedro Carmona in Fuerte Tiuna on April 11th., Petkoff says this :” violates the Constitutional text…the Prosecutor can not pretend that any reporter reveal his/her source, least of all force him to do it..”


Petkoff added that the statements made by the Attorney General/Prosecutor on the issue against reporter Patricia Poleo, are incorrect: “When he says that a crime has been committed when you have those documents and you reveal them, it is not true, article 78 in this case of the anticorruption law, the only thing it says is that anyone that alters, breaks, retains a public document is committing a crime, but this is not the case because here we have a person that received photocopies…even reporter Ernesto Villegas (a Government reporter) showed the Attorney General one of those documents sitting on front of him”


 


Rodriguez keeps insisting in this point, arguing that it violates other Constitutional precepts, but he seems to have failed to understand that the Constitution in Article 28 is talking about Government property, that is documents that belong to the Government and are extracted, which is not the case.


 


Poleo herself today held a press conference in which she accused the Attorney General of intervening “to prevent the truth from being told”, saying that Rodriguez has “asked the Detectives that they erase testimony, throw away some of the interrogations and interviews they have made so that the scandal that finally erupted could be covered up”


 


Poleo also questioned how fast the prosecutor in her case has acted, but has failed to act in the case of the murder of Maritza Ron by Chavez; supporters in Plaza Altamira on August 16th. The people, who were detained in that case thanks to very public pictures of them shooting Mrs. Ron, have yet to be even charged for the murder. Poleo also talked about the interview Rodriguez had with Ernesto Villegas in which the Attorney General himself said that it was the person that was turning over the documents the only that was committing the crime. Poleo reiterated she will not reveal her sources.

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