Reuters’ Girish Gupta has quite the profile on TSJ chief justice Maikel Moreno. Although much of the information covered in the article has been on the rumor mill for years, the piece shines some new light and provides hard evidence on the outrageous fact that an actual murderer managed to be appointed justice and then chief of our highest court.
Moreno shot 19-year-old Rubén Gil in the back when he was bodyguard for President Carlos Andrés Pérez, back in 1989:
“Two people close to Gil told Reuters that witnesses and family members at the time of the brawl said Moreno fired the shot that killed the 19-year-old. These people, who requested anonymity, saying they were afraid of reprisals, said Gil had been a gang member and that an existing, but unspecified rivalry with Moreno had sparked the brawl.
One person, who says he saw Gil’s body in a Caracas morgue, said the young man was shot in the back. Gil’s death certificate, reviewed by Reuters, cites gunshot as the cause of death.”
The piece then maps his unlikely rise after his release from prison and how he was removed from his post as criminal judge in 2007 – because, even for chavismo standards, he had gone too far:
By 2006, word of the phone call and of Moreno’s controversial role in the 2002 shooting trials was increasingly well-known in judicial circles, according to several judges, attorneys and other officials active at the time. The Supreme Court ordered its security division to investigate.
The resulting intelligence report unearthed allegations that helped derail Moreno’s first stint as a judge.
The report, for instance, held that Moreno’s efforts to affect judicial outcomes went beyond pressuring colleagues. It cited testimony by numerous witnesses alleging Moreno took part in an extortion ring — known as “Los Enanos,” or “the Dwarves” — that secured payments from defendants in exchange for lenient sentences or acquittals.
Moreno was never charged for anything related to the alleged extortion. But his behavior, the report warned, was a threat to the courts, to Chavez and to “the revolution.”
In 2007, the Supreme Court found Moreno in contempt of the tribunal and defrocked him as an appeals court judge. Citing “grave and inexcusable errors,” the high court found Moreno had improperly released two murder suspects, according to its ruling.”
After all of this, he was appointed justice and then chief justice thanks to his ties to Maduro and, particularly, to #TropicalMierda’s Lady Macbeth, Cilia Flores:
“With his allies firmly in power, Moreno revived a judicial career that three senior judges said would have remained moribund without such connections, given Moreno’s arrest in the 1989 killing and his later ouster from the court system.
The country’s 1999 constitution, rewritten by Chavez, stipulates the head of the Supreme Court be of “good repute.”
In 2014, Maduro named Moreno, with a fresh doctorate in constitutional law, to the top court.
Since then, Moreno’s influence has only grown.
In February 2017, Maduro named him chief justice, outraging critics, including Gabriela Ramirez, the national ombudsman at the time. Ramirez unsuccessfully sought to derail the appointment, citing to senior officials Moreno’s ouster from the appeals court.”
In a surprising move, Moreno personally denied some of the claims after being contacted by Reuters:
“In a brief text-message exchange with Reuters on Nov. 7, Moreno said the allegations of jail time, long rumored in Venezuela, were “invented” by sensationalists.
He offered to give Reuters an interview, but then did not respond to requests to schedule one. He did not respond to additional questions by text about his career or other episodes in which he was accused of wrongdoing.”
Please do yourself a favor and give it a read. It displays the fundamentally criminal and amoral nature of chavismo, and the death of the rule of law in our country.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.