Former President Jailed in Corruption Case
May. 18, 1994
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) _ Former president Carlos Andres Perez, suspended from office last year on corruption charges, was ordered jailed Wednesday by the Supreme Court.
Perez, 71, maintained his innocence as he turned himself in at the tribunal.
He had been allowed to remain free while his trial on embezzlement and misuse of public funds proceeds, but the Supreme Court voted 10-4 Wednesday to jail him and and two of his former aides.
''I'm the victim of a giant intrigue,'' Perez said Wednesday in a statement handed out by his attorney, Alberto Arteaga. ''Those who couldn't topple me and oblige me to resign, unleashed an implacable campaign to provoke my departure from the presidency.''
Perez and his former interior minister, Alejandro Izaguirre, were taken to a police station en route to El Junquito jail on the outskirts of Caracas. The second aide, former presidential secretary Reinaldo Figueredo, is believed to have fled the country.
Perez was removed by Congress last May after he was accused of embezzling and misappropiating $17.2 million in public funds.
Perez has said he does not have to publicly account for the money because it was part of a secret Interior Ministry fund.
Critics say Perez improperly spent the money on his lavish 1989 inauguration and on foreign policy initiatives including Venezuelan bodyguards for Nicaraguan President Violeta de Chamorro. Mrs. Chamorro took out full-page ads in Caracas newspapers this month to deny that allegation.
The corruption allegations helped provoke two attempted military coups against Perez in 1992.
Perez' predecessor, Jaime Lusinchi, also faces trial on corruption charges.