Venezuela lifts opposition lawmakers immunity

Maduro, who has systematically sidelined the opposition as he tightens his grip over his troubled nation, accuses the opposition and Colombia of being behind Saturday's drone "attack."

Venezuela lifts opposition lawmakers immunity

World Bulletin / News Desk

A super-legislative body loyal to President Nicolas Maduro revoked the immunity of two Venezuelan opposition lawmakers Wednesday, in order to put them on trial for allegedly masterminding a drone "assassination" bid on the leader.

He has singled out two lawmakers: Julio Borges, former speaker of the opposition-dominated legislature who now lives in exile; and Juan Requesens.

Requesens was seized by intelligence officers overnight, while Venezuela's Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered Borges' arrest.

The Constituent Assembly -- a body set up last year by Maduro to arrogate powers from the elected legislature -- followed up by stripping Borges and Requesens of their immunity.

The elected body, called the National Assembly, has said it will dismiss any attempt to remove its members' immunity as unconstitutional. Its past decisions, however, have been annulled by the Supreme Court.

Attorney General Tarek William Saab said moves were being made to put Requesens on trial, while Maduro is pressing Colombia and the US to extradite opposition figures he alleges are plotting to topple him from abroad, including Borges.

The embattled president says he was targeted by two drones carrying C4 explosives.

Live images on Saturday showed Maduro halting his speech at a Caracas military parade following a detonation that prompted dozens of soldiers in front of him to run away in panic.

Borges, who on Tuesday attended the swearing-in of Colombia's new president, Ivan Duque, called Maduro's accusation against him "a farce."

"Everyone knows that it's a set-up to persecute and convict anybody that opposes your dictatorship," Borges wrote on Twitter.

Later, he told AFP that he feels "safe" in exile.

"I feel safe in Colombia, I feel thankful. The move has no political or legal grounds," he said of the decision to strip his immunity.

Last Mod: 09 Ağustos 2018, 12:06
Add Comment