Kathleen Hamann Quoted in Global Investigations Review: Texas Federal Judge Throws out PDVSA Bribery Case for Second Time

Excerpted from the May 18, 2023 Global Investigations Review article by Gaspard Le Dem

On May 17, 2023, a Texas federal judge threw out a years-old corruption case against Swiss-Portuguese banker Paulo Jorge Da Costa Casqueiro Murta for a second time, finding prosecutors violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial.

US District Judge Kenneth Hoyt granted Murta’s motion to dismiss the 19-count indictment against him, which included charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and bribing foreign officials. In a separate order, Hoyt also granted a motion to suppress statements Murta made to US investigators during a 2018 interview in Portugal.

This recent dismissal is the latest development in a case that has bounced between district and appellate courts for the past five years. Prosecutors quickly filed a motion to stay the order, arguing that they need more time to “weigh a potential appeal,” and that Murta could leave the country further complicating efforts to prosecute him if the appeals court agrees to hear the case.

Pierce Atwood white-collar attorney Kathleen Hamann, a former prosecutor in DOJ’s FCPA unit, said, “It's not unusual for something like this to go up and down on various issues. It is unusual for it to go up and down on an identical issue, because you have to have new grounds or new evidence, and that doesn’t happen all that often.”

Kate noted that she thought Hoyt’s dismissal order could be easily reversed upon appeal, adding, “I would imagine the Fifth Circuit is going to have to be convinced there's really something new here.”

The complete article by Gaspard Le Dem can be found in the May 18, 2023 edition of Global Investigations Review.