Tuesday, August 20, 2019
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ARGENTINA | 27-02-2019 11:22

Businessman arrested for false testimony in Natacha Jaitt death probe

Investigators believe late woman's associate, Raúl Velaztiqui, lied on three occasions about the circumstances surrounding her death.

The man who led media personality Natacha Jaitt to the Xanadú events facility in Tigre where she was found dead last weekend was arrested on Wednesday for giving alleged "false testimony" to authorities.

Raúl Velaztiqui Duarte, 47, was Jaitt's friend and producer. The businessman lied to investigators on three occasions about the circumstances surrounding her death at the facility, according to Buenos Aires province's Attorney General Julio Conte Grand.

"There were some noticeable contradictions in the declarations he made yesterday and those made on the weekend," Conte Grand said Wednesday, speaking with cable news station Todo Noticias.

Jaitt's death has sparked a wave of conspiracy theories on social media and among entertainment personalities, who suggest the 41-year-old was murdered as pay back for threats she made throughout 2018 to reveal the identities of sports and entertainment personalities with links to child prostitution.

Jaitt, a well-known media personality, previously worked as a model, actress, escort, and TV and radio presenter. Known to have formerly been a drug user, those closest to her insisted that – despite recent media reports about the circumstances surrounding her death – Jaitt was no longer consuming drugs.

The arrest "changes the outlook" of the investigation, Jaitt family lawyer Alejandro Cipolla told reporters, since authorities can no longer "deny the possibility of an anterior motive" on the part of Velaztiqui.

INVESTIGATION

Police continued interrogating witnesses and persons of interest following Jaitt's death last Saturday and a preliminary autopsy, which suggested "pulmonary edema" as her cause of death.

In relation to other testimonies, Velaztiqui's account of events showed "inconsistencies in the terms of time," Conte Grand said.

Specifically, Velaztiqui claimed that he had found Jaitt's mobile phone in his car, when in fact security footage showed him taking the item from the room where she was found dead and then storing it in his backpack.  He is also believed to have lied when, in relation to other testimonies, he said that he had not seen anybody at the Tigre facility consuming drugs.

Finally, Velaztiqui told authorities that he had not touched or modified anything in the possible crime scene when in fact, according to security cameras, he removed a towel which he then used to cover Jaitt's phone.

Police have also interrogated the owner of Xanadú Guillermo Gonzalo Rigoni; his friend Gaspar Esteba Fonolla; an electrician Gustavo Andrés Bartolín; and a 19-year-old woman, Luana Micaela Monsalvo.

Velaztiqui accompanied Jaitt to meet with Rigoni where they were scheduled to discuss a series of shows at the facility.

-TIMES/PERFIL

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