• Short Summary

    After two weeks of questioning the jailed U.S. Gulf Oil Company official, Carlos Dorado Chopitea,?

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    After two weeks of questioning the jailed U.S. Gulf Oil Company official, Carlos Dorado Chopitea, has been released on bail.

    Senor Chopitea had been in preventative custody since 20 May pending investigation of Gulf political contributions in Bolivia in the 1960s. He was released on Tuesday (3 June) but he is not permitted to leave La Paz.

    The Bolivian Government names Senor Chopitea and Gulf's President, Mr. Bob Dorsey, as company representatives responsible for "crimes which the company recognises it has committed by the payment of political contributions".

    Bolivia has since requested the extradition of Mr. Dorsey if he is found guilty of having bribed local officials. If Mr. Dorsey if he is appear before the Bolivian Courts, he would be tried in his absence, judicial sources have said.

    Gulf Oil has admitted paying three political contributions totalling U.S. $460,000 during the 1964-69 rule of the late President Rene Barrientos.

    Senor Chopitea was released on bail under regulations that permit those over 65 to have provisional liberty. His actual age is unclear. He has recently been reported to be 60, 63 and 65.

    The Magistrate in charge of the case, Judge Mario Torrico Montalvo, said Senor Chopitea was only free on provisional liberty. The case could be reconsidered by the Supreme Court at any time, he said.

    The Gulf payments include a sum for the lease and later purchase of President Barrientos's helicopter. The other payments were not detailed in Gulf's statement in mid-May. The Bolivian Government has demanded the name of the recipients of the other two contributions.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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