Former opposition mayor of Chacao, Leopoldo Lopez, began his trial yesterday after six months in prison for allegedly inciting violence in Venezuela and conspiring against the government.
Leopoldo Lepez, opposition leader of the political party Voluntad Popular (Popular Will, VP), was detained in February and has begun his trial this week in Caracas. The Venezuelan government considers López one of the main conspirators of the coup d´état attempt against democratically elected President Nicolás Maduro and one of the architects of the violence carried out across the nation this year. López faces ten years in prison if he is proven guilty.
On Wednesday, López appeared before the prosecution in Tribunal 28 in the Venezuelan capital. He was detained since February 18 and held in the military jail Ramo Verde in the state of Miranda. The prosecution has charged López with inciting the damage of public property, arson and conspiracy. The opposition led protests called “The Exit” (“La Salida” in Spanish) since February have resulted in 43 deaths across the nation.
López’s party convoked their supporters on Wednesday to protest outside the Tribunal, approximately 200 people were in attendance. Former National Assembly member, Marina Corina Machado, denounced the court’s decision to deny her entry to be audience to López´s trial.
The defense maintains López’s innocence on all counts and has rejected the evidence and witnesses supporting the prosecution’s case against the opposition leader.
This news brief has been slightly edited from the original.