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American oil execs, held 2 years, go to trial in Venezuela

FILE - This undated file photo posted on Twitter on June 18, 2020 by Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, shows CITGO oil executives, from left, Jose Angel Pereira, Gustavo Cardenas, Jorge Toledo, Jose Luis Zambrano, Tomeu Vadell and Alirio Jose Zambrano, standing outside the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service, in Caracas, Venezuela. A Venezuela court has launched the trial for the six oil executives jailed well over two years after being lured to the South American nation and arrested on corruption charges, an attorney confirmed Friday, Aug. 7, 2020.  (Posted on Twitter by Jorge Arreaza/Venezuela's Foreign Ministry via AP, File)
FILE - This undated file photo posted on Twitter on June 18, 2020 by Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, shows CITGO oil executives, from left, Jose Angel Pereira, Gustavo Cardenas, Jorge Toledo, Jose Luis Zambrano, Tomeu Vadell and Alirio Jose Zambrano, standing outside the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service, in Caracas, Venezuela. A Venezuela court has launched the trial for the six oil executives jailed well over two years after being lured to the South American nation and arrested on corruption charges, an attorney confirmed Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. (Posted on Twitter by Jorge Arreaza/Venezuela's Foreign Ministry via AP, File)(AP)
Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 1:34 PM CDT
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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A Venezuela court has launched the trial of six American oil executives accused of corruption charges over two years ago.

Defense attorney Jesus Loreto said Friday that the case has taken on a new sense of urgency.

The six executives of the Houston-based Citgo refineries were arrested in late 2017 after being called to attend a meeting of PDVSA, the firm’s state-run parent-company.

Loreto says there seems to be an interest in quickly resolving the case that has lingered for over two years.

He credits the movement to a Caracas meeting in July between President Nicolás Maduro and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. 

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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