Venezuela’s Supreme Court has approved an injunction against a congressional investigation into the alleged disappearance of $11bn at state oil firm PDVSA, according to Reuters.
The money is said to have gone missing in the period 2004 to 2014, when Rafael Ramirez was president of PDVSA.
Ramirez has staunchly denied the allegation and it was he who requested the injunction.
PDVSA, which manages the world’s biggest oil resources including huge offshore fields, has been mired in corruption charges for some time. The accusations include fraud in its procurement services, black market currency schemes and laundering of drug money.
The Congressional Investigations Commission conducting the probe that looked into the $11bn shortfall was focused on 11 instances of irregularities.
News of the injunction came at the end of a week that began with PDVSA announcing that some of its creditors had agreed a bond swap proposal whereby $2.8bn of bonds set to mature in 2017 would be exchanged for $3.4bn to mature in 2020.
PDVSA still has major repayments due this year and some analysts think the swap has done little to avert the looming threat of bankruptcy hanging over the firm.