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Caracas, Thursday January 06 , 2005  
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Prosecutor Anderson's friends under investigation

The Attorney General's Office has launched an investigation on several friends of late prosecutor Danilo Anderson "to determine whether they accepted any offer in connection with the case of (Pedro) Carmona's decree," Attorney General Isaías Rodríguez said in a press release.

Interior Minister Jesse Chacón, however, talked about extortion. He told reporters that Anderson's friends supposedly contacted people who signed the Carmona's decree -whereby Carmona was designated as the Venezuelan President to replace Hugo Chávez when the latter was briefly removed from power in April 2002-, to ask them for money to avoid indictment by Anderson. Nevertheless, the Attorney General's Office press release referred to "material offers."

Rodríguez stressed that investigations have found that "people close to the late prosecutor, misusing his confidence, may have received material offers from persons who signed a decree whereby Pedro Carmona dismantled public powers."

The Attorney General added that "acceptance of such offers may have lead those people to perpetrate crimes, less serious than murder but equally reprehensible, and they may be eventually subject to criminal prosecution, if proven guilty."

"If investigations find that public officials or any other citizens are involved in crimes different from the murder (of prosecutor Anderson), but which are directly or indirectly related to it, the Attorney General's Office will not hesitate to point to responsibilities."

Finally, Rodríguez said his office has enough evidence that the Guevara brothers and cousin did participate in the bomb attack that killed Anderson on November 18, 2004.

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