Chilean businessman accused of bribery to testify in Havana
In an unusual step, the Interior Ministry published in the Gaceta Oficial Monday a citation and charges against Max Marambio. The citation gives him until July 29 to appear before a Cuban judge; otherwise Cuba will issue an arrest warrant.
Marambio, 63, said in a statement issued by his lawyer that he would demonstrate “the total inconsistency of the alleged offenses.”
Marambio's case made headlines in April
The owner of several companies in Cuba is accused of bribery, damaging acts to economic activity or contracting, embezzlement, falsification of bank and commerce documents, and fraud.
The Cuban case against Marambio made headlines in Chile earlier this year. Amid heightened rhetoric against corruption, Cuban authorities began investigating Marambio, who is running several joint venture companies with Cuban state partners.
One witness in the case was found dead April 6 in his Havana apartment. Roberto Baudrand, 59, the top Chilean manager in Cuba for Marambio’s Alimentos Río Zaza S.A., had been under orders not to leave the island and was twice cited to report to police to testify as a witness. According to the Cuban autopsy, Baudrand’s death was caused by a mix of pharmaceuticals and alcohol.
At least two Cuban employees of Marambio’s companies had been detained earlier. In December, the accountant of ING holding and the Cuban representative in the Río Zaza food and agricultural joint venture were arrested in Havana.
ING is a 50-percent shareholder in Río Zaza; the Cuban state controls the other half. ING also holds a 50-percent share of the Sol y Son travel agency.
In April, Chile’s Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno told reporters his government knew about the Cuban investigation against Marambio’s companies, but that he wasn’t aware of any specific charges.