CARACAS – The Venezuelan Public Ministry refused on Thursday entry into its offices to Katherine Haringhton, appointed by the Supreme Court (TSJ) to be assistant attorney general but who is not recognized by current Attorney General Luis Ortega, who recently named Rafael Gonzalez to that post.
At the doors of the ministry, Haringhton said that she is a retired official with the institution and now has a “mission” to fulfill.
“Here I am. I have a mission, a job, I’ve been sworn to fulfill it ... I’m a retired official with the institution. More than 23 years working here. I’m not a guest,” she said.
Haringhton, sanctioned by Washington in 2015 by having her assets in the US frozen and being prohibited from entering that country, came to the AG’s Office accompanied by several high court officials and delivered a letter appointing her to the post of assistant AG.
After half an hour, she left without having been able to move into the office she had been given by the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber.
Later, the AG said on Twitter that she condemned “the arbitrary claim by the assistant attorney general named by the TSJ to enter the Public Ministry.”
Ortega blamed the Bolivarian National Guard, Venezuela’s militarized police, and the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) “for any irregular situation that may occur against the headquarters and officials” of the AG’s Office.
The high court on Tuesday named Haringhton to the post, one day after the opposition-controlled Parliament confirmed Rafael Gonzalez, who had been tapped by Ortega for the job on April 17, as the assistant AG.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in 2015 named Harrington to be assistant minister for the Comprehensive Criminal Investigation System and she is considered by the opposition to be an ally of the Bolivarian Revolution for having filed charges against several jailed leaders of the political opposition.
Ortega recently distanced herself from the government after the TSJ more than three months ago took over the functions of the opposition-controlled Parliament, and she later adopted a stance against the constitutional assembly convened by Maduro to draft a new Constitution.
In response to her move, Venezuela’s socialist Chavista government branded her a “traitor.”
Ortega has said that she will not recognize the decisions of the Supreme Court because they are “contrary to the Constitution,” while the TSJ is launching legal proceedings against her that could result in her removal from office.