Italian court denies extradition of Oaxaca notary linked to property dispossession scheme

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Oaxaca.- An Italian appeals court denied the extradition of the 135th notary of Oaxaca, Jorge Alberto Merlo Gómez, accused of leading a criminal scheme of property dispossession, through which several facilities, worth millions of dollars, were taken from residents. Confirmed the government of that demarcation to Latinus.

In recent days it was revealed that the notary, currently suspended, was traveling in Italy in the company of family members, despite the fact that the Oaxacan government stated that he had been arrested last April and was awaiting extradition.

Salomón Jara’s administration acknowledged that he was unaware of Merlo Gómez’s legal situation and assured that he would request information from the corresponding federal authorities, as this is a private case of which he is not a part.

Geovany Vásquez Sagrero, legal advisor to the state government, confirmed that the Italian authorities denied the extradition of Merlo Gómez to Mexico on the grounds that the crime of document falsification is not considered serious.

Furthermore, Vásquez Sagrero acknowledged that neither the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) nor the Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SRE) informed Oaxaca about said resolution. He even states that the information they have is still unofficial, since they have not received any notification, despite the fact that it is presumed that Merlo was released 15 days before his whereabouts were made known.

According to the investigation file, the crime for which Jorge Merlo is accused is forgery of documents to the detriment of the Gómez Conzzatti brothers, with which their identity was stolen and two properties in the center were taken from them with the complicity of former officials of the PRI government Alejandro Murat.

The arrest warrant against him was issued last March and, almost a month later, on April 9, the notary was arrested in Turin, Italy.

Despite this refusal by the Italian authorities, the government of Oaxaca assures that both the arrest warrant and the red card issued by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) are still active; However, as long as Merlo does not leave said country, he cannot be detained again.

Vásquez Sagrero points out, however, that the statements of Merlo’s defense in Oaxaca are false, which by disseminating a document assured that the Court of Appeal of Torino declared him innocent, given that the serious indications of guilt by Merlo Gómez regarding the crimes attributed to him.

This document also indicates that Italy did not authorize the extradition because it considered that the danger is real that the interested party could be subjected to “inhuman or degrading treatment” during the period of detention in the Oaxaca prison.

In this regard, the legal advisor stated that said court does not exist and, therefore, the notary – now suspended for his alleged participation in loot – has not been acquitted.

“What the lawyer has stated is totally false, that a European court declared him innocent, that is false, there is no such court (…) it is an offense to public opinion to make people believe that a European court is going to look into it.” a case of dispossession in Oaxaca and they are going to decide that he is not guilty,” he says.

Given this, the counselor added that despite the fact that Jorge Merlo seeks to build a narrative that he is a politically persecuted person from the Oaxaca government, as “if he were an activist or defender of human rights.”

“He is a former public official, a notary who is accused of depriving many people of their properties through his notarial services. “He is not a citizen who went on vacation and for some reason received an arrest warrant; he is identified as part of a criminal group that was stripping many Oaxacans of their assets,” he concluded.

Source: Latinus