Chilean Senator requests Financial Times journalist to be interrogated

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Alejandro Navarro explained that Jude Webber, the Southamerican correspondent for the British paper, interviewed former President Sebastian Pinera while he was in office”.

“He mentioned to her that he kept a Bloomberg Terminal on his desk at the presidential palace´s office, which if it is confirmed, would mean that Sebastian Pinera continued doing business while leading the country”, he added.

Stating that “Pinera need to explain why he held a Bloomberg Terminal in the presidential office, a tool with which he could have made the purchase of the Peruvian fishing company Exalmar, at times when Chile and Peru had a dispute in The Hague over the sovereignty of an area at sea in the Pacific Ocean”, Chilean Senator Alejandro Navarro referred to his request for the Financial Times correspondent to be questioned by the Justice.

The congressman explained that, “Pinera never dissociated himself from his business as President, as it was exposed on July 21st, 2010, when Jude Webber, the Southamerican reporter of the British newspaper, published an interview of the former president made in his office of the Presidential Palace, in which she noted the favourite tool of the stock market speculators, a Bloomberg Terminal”.

Navarro added that “although the Government denied this information, the terminal existed in the presidential office, as it was ratified by the journalist of the Financial Times, who asserted that it was the President himself, who gave her the information published in the financial newspaper”.

“The company for its part also denied the existence of this terminal, however, is known the closeness of Pinera and the international firm, as well as the collaboration of the former president in Bloomberg Philanthropies,” said the PAIS Party Senator.

Navarro recalled that “with this computer system in his office, Pinera could not only review the performance of his shares in the stock market, but could also buy and sell shares in real-time”.

In this sense, he said that “it is legitimate to ask whether it was Sebastian Pinera himself, who bought the Peruvian fishing company Exalmar, since he had the tool to do it, and besides, there was a legal vacuum that allowed him to continue administering his fortune in tax havens, which was not part of the blind trust”.

For this reason, he announced that “we will deliver this information in the framework of the investigation carried out by prosecutor Carlos Gajardo, so that the Financial Times journalist, Jude Webber, will be summoned to testify”.

Navarro added that “thanks to the blind trust law, tailor made by former President Pinera and approved fast track, something certainly suspicious back then, only 16% of its fortune (valued today at US $ 2,400 Million) was administered through this system, while the other 84% was or still is in tax havens”.

“And the most risible of this,” he continued, “is that it was the same Pinera during an interview this year, who declared that tax havens should disappear because they are often used for activities in conflict with law and morals, such as money laundering or concealment of money that comes from drug trafficking or organized crime. Or they are often used to evade taxes”.

“Therefore”, Alejandro Navarro said, “the logical thing is for Sebastian Pinera to be consistent with what he proposed, and bring his fortune back to Chile to pay taxes like the citizens of this country”.

“As the United Nations, as well as the European Union, the World Bank and the Financial Action Task Force, have ruled that offshore tax havens not only facilitate money laundering, but also facilitate actions such as drug trafficking and terrorism, as even the largest terrorist entities of these times, ISIS and Al Qaeda, continue to benefit from them to launder money”, explained the congressman.

For this reason, we have presented a proposal for a Constitutional Reform”, continued Navarro, “whose purpose is to dictate that from now on, it is an inability for anyone who wants to be President of the Republic, or seeks to hold a position of popular representation or of a public official who, during the five years prior to the election or during their term in office, maintains investments in tax havens or offshore companies by themselves or through third parties or related companies”.

“Therefore, I hope that as well as Carlos Bianchi, who has already signed this motion, more senators will join, especially the presidential candidates, Alejandro Guillier and Manuel Jose Ossandon, whom I have publicly asked for in the hall; we will then see who are truly worried to protect the national interests and to advance in the fight against inequality”, concluded the legislator of the PAIS Party.

Press and Communications Office

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