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Public prosecutor requests warrant for arrest of Globovisión shareholder

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 1 July 2010, Venezuela's attorney general, Luisa Ortega Díaz, announced that the public prosecutor has requested a warrant for the arrest of Nelson Mezerhane, a Globovisión television station shareholder. The announcement was made in Caracas.

Mezerhane has been accused of using the Federal Bank, which he owns, to commit irregularities that have affected individuals who have their savings invested with the institution.

The businessman's whereabouts are unknown. In a broadcast by a state-owned radio station, Ortega said the objective is to get the arrest warrant included in Interpol's red alert list.

On 14 June, the government intervened in the activities of the Federal Bank owing to the "serious economic and financial situation" it faces, according to the minister of state for the central bank, Humberto Ortega Díaz.

Warrants for the arrest of Globovisión's president, Guillermo Zuloaga, and his son, Guillermo Zuloaga Siso, were issued in June.

Meanwhile, on 2 July, President Hugo Chávez criticized the information issued by Globovisión. He stated that he believes Globovisión was being used as a base for a media campaign to generate chaos in the country and induce the public to reject his presidential mandate. His statements were broadcast by a national network of radio and TV stations from the Miraflores Palace in Caracas.

Chávez referred to media outlets that are controlled by the bourgeoisie, and called them "corrupt" because they have said nothing about the irregularities allegedly committed by the Federal Bank.

The president spoke of the possibility that Mezerhane's Globovisión shares would be seized in order to reimburse the state for the investment it has made to return the funds owed to those who invested their savings with the bank.

He also said, "Globovisión's owners have fled. We must think about what we will do with the TV station", in reference to Mezerhane and Zuloaga.

"During the last few days the TV station's madness has worsened. Let's see who can endure the longest: Globovisión's madness or Venezuela and its wisdom," said Chavez.

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