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Expert Says Emails Used to Accuse Maduro
EL WALL STREET JOURNAL PUBLICA HOY LA AVERIGUACIÓN HECHA POR EXPERTO ESTADOUNIDENSE SOBRE ESTE ASUNTO
Venezuelan Officials Made Accusations Against Political Opponents, U.S. Diplomats
June 30, 2014 7:32 p.m. ET
A cybersecurity forensics expert said Monday the emails used by the Venezuelan government to accuse political opponents and U.S. diplomats of conspiring to assassinate President Nicolás Maduro last month are fake.
The expert was hired by one of the Venezuelan opposition figures accused by the government, in an effort to clear his name.
The assassination-plot accusation was first made last month by top Venezuelan officials and broadcast on all the country's television stations. Based on a handful of emails, the government accused leading opponents of the government, including former Venezuelan congresswoman Maria Corina Machado and newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker, of plotting to murder Mr. Maduro.
At the time, all of the alleged conspirators, including Ms. Machado and Mr. Whitaker, denied the Venezuelan charges.
According to Angela Cervetti, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, "these are false accusations in a long line of baseless allegations against U.S. diplomats by the Venezuelan government."
"Repeatedly and falsely accusing members of the international diplomatic community will not solve Venezuela's internal problems, nor will it create the environment necessary for Venezuela to engage its citizens in a meaningful and genuine dialogue," Ms. Cervetti added.
Last week, Google released the data on the alleged plot emails after Pedro Burelli, a former director of Venezuela's state oil company who lives in Washington, D.C.,went to court to obtain the email information to clear his name, Mr. Burelli said.
On Monday, Winston Krone, a cybersecurity forensics expert retained by Mr. Burelli said Google had no record of three of the emails the Venezuelan government said were written by Mr. Burelli, while it appeared the government had falsified a fourth, adding words Mr. Burelli didn't write to an email he did write two years earlier.
"All of the objective, verified evidence is consistent with the falsification of the emails related to Pedro Burelli in the Venezuelan government report," wrote Mr. Krone, managing director of San Francisco-based Kivu Consulting.
"They fabricated all four of the emails they have attributed to me," said Mr. Burelli. "I bet anything that's the case with all the other emails on which they have based this farcical ploy."
A spokesman at Venezuela's Attorney General's office declined to comment on Mr. Krone's findings.