(Adds statement from person familiar with the matter)
Sept 3 (Reuters) - An executive of U.S. refiner Citgo Petroleum Corp who has been detained in Venezuela for more than two years has been taken from a Caracas prison to a health clinic, according to his family and another person familiar with the matter.
Jose Pereira was among six executives of the U.S.-based subsidiary of Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela arrested on embezzlement charges their lawyers say are baseless.
“We received the information that Jose was moved on Friday to a Clinic, due to a respiratory affection (sic), our family and lawyers didn’t knew about this situation,” a Twitter account run by his family wrote earlier this week, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic was heightening their concerns.
A person familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed on Thursday that he had been taken to a health clinic, but that the courts had not informed his family or his legal team of his exact whereabouts nor any updates on his condition.
Neither Venezuela’s information ministry nor the chief prosecutor’s office responded to requests for comment.
Two of the six former executives were moved to house arrest in July after veteran U.S. diplomat Bill Richardson visited Caracas to seek their release.
This week, Venezuela pardoned dozens of incarcerated activists and politicians, seen by the opposition as political prisoners. The government of President Nicolas Maduro, which has overseen an economic collapse, is viewed as a dictatorship by most western democracies. (Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York and Angus Berwick in London; Editing by David Gregorio and Bill Berkrot)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.