MEXICO CITY, Aug 19 (Reuters) - An ex-chief executive of
Petroleos Mexicanos accused former presidents, ministers,
lawmakers, political aides and a journalist of corruption in
testimony leaked on Wednesday that is aimed at proving he is
innocent of graft charges.
Emilio Lozoya, one-time boss of the state-run oil company
known as Pemex, has become the centerpiece of President Andres
Manuel Lopez Obrador's drive to expose corruption he says was
rampant in past governments before he took office in 2018.
Lozoya, who was extradited from Spain last month to face
trial for taking bribes and money laundering, has sought to
deflect blame by accusing former president Enrique Pena Nieto
and his ex-finance minister, Luis Videgaray, of instructing him
to pay bribes for electoral ends and buy votes in Congress.
Set out in a written statement by Lozoya, those accusations
were relayed by Attorney General Alejandro Gertz last week.
A photocopy of Lozoya's statement began circulating widely
among the media in Mexico on Wednesday, prompting the attorney
general's office to say it had not leaked what it described as
"the copy of his denunciation".
In a statement, Lozoya's lawyers said they took no
responsibility for the document attributed to him. Barred from
leaving Mexico, Lozoya is awaiting trial at an undisclosed
location under the auspices of authorities.
In the 63-page declaration, which was seen by Reuters,
Lozoya denounced former presidents Felipe Calderon and Carlos
Salinas for "acts possibly constituting crimes" alongside Pena
Nieto, Videgaray and more than a dozen others.
With varying degrees of detail, Lozoya alleged officials and
lawmakers had taken bribes, received illicit payments and
otherwise engaged in corruption over several years, some of
which were before he took the reins at Pemex in 2012.
Many have already publicly rejected the accusations.
Those he accused include ex-senators, two of whom are now
serving as state governors, three more former finance ministers,
and congressional aides.
Calderon, Lozoya said, oversaw corruption in his 2006-2012
administration, pointing to an ethane supply deal struck between
Pemex and a consortium led by Brazilian firm Braskem that Lopez
Obrador has condemned as a rip-off for the state.
Braskem has denied any wrongdoing.
Salinas, who was president from 1988 to 1994, had engaged in
lobbying to get lucrative business for his son, Lozoya alleged.
Among the ex-finance ministers was Jose Antonio Gonzalez
Anaya, who in 2016 initially succeeded Lozoya at Pemex.
Gonzalez on Twitter rejected the accusations, calling them a
bid for vengeance against him because he had in 2017 denounced
irregularities at Pemex under Lozoya's stewardship.
Jose Antonio Meade, another former finance minister who was
the 2018 presidential candidate for Pena Nieto's Institutional
Revolutionary Party, also firmly rejected Lozoya's allegations
on Twitter, as did the third, Ernesto Cordero.
Lourdes Mendoza, a journalist whom Lozoya accused of
belonging to a corrupt section of the press providing favorable
coverage for the last government in exchange for payments, also
denounced his claims and said on Twitter she would sue him.
Neither Pena Nieto or Videgaray has commented publicly on
the allegations but previously they denied any wrongdoing.
Calderon has dismissed the claims and challenged Lozoya to
Salinas could not be immediately reached for comment.
(Reporting by Adriana Barrera, Dave Graham, Miguel Gutierrez
and Lizbeth Diaz)