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This is the image used by the opposition to seek the release of Juan Requesens,. Getty Images
The image used by the opposition to demand the release of Juan Requesens. Photo: Getty Images

Former Venezuelan congressman sentenced to eight years in prison for conspiring to kill Maduro

The Venezuelan justice system convicted Juan Requesens and 16 other people for their involvement in an attempt on the President's life.

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"Requesens was sentenced to eight years for the crime of conspiracy. In the next hours I will meet with his family for next actions," wrote Joel García on Twitter, a lawyer of the former deputy, at the end of a hearing that lasted 12 hours, stretching into the early hours of Thursday morning, Aug. 4.

Hours earlier on Twitter, the jurist assured that the Prosecutor's Office "could not prove responsibility in any of the seven crimes" for which the former deputy was accused, so he should have been "acquitted."

"But our justice system has been hijacked," he warned.

On the other hand, the NGO Justice, Encounter and Forgiveness (JEP) released that four military officers were also convicted for these facts, among them first sergeant Juan Monasterios, generals Alejandro Pérez and Héctor Hernández, and colonel Pedro Zambrano.

In addition, 12 other persons were found guilty and sentenced, but the sentence imposed is still unknown, as is the sentence imposed on the implicated soldiers.

The attack for which they were convicted occurred on Aug. 4, 2018, when Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was making a speech on an avenue in Caracas, the country's capital, to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard.

Through images broadcast on television, it was possible to see how the soldiers who were formed in blocks listening to Maduro ran, while he was immediately protected by his bodyguards. However, hours later the president was unharmed and said that it was an attempt against his life and accused "the Venezuelan ultra-right in alliance with the Colombian ultra-right," holding the then president of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos directly responsible.

The Venezuelan Prosecutor's Office charged those accused with crimes such as treason, intentional homicide in degree of frustration, launching of an explosive device, terrorism, violent damage to property, association to commit a crime and charged them for the injuries suffered by some military personnel on the day of the event. 

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