Venezuela summons ex-president to court

Former Venezuelan president Jaime Lusinchi has been summoned to court to face charges in the 1986 killings of nine people in Yumare.

By Press TV
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Sun, March 16, 2008 (Press TV) - Former Venezuelan president Jaime Lusinchi has been summoned to court to face charges in the 1986 killings of nine people in Yumare.

The Venezuelan attorney general's office said in a statement Friday that Lusinchi is to appear in court on April 1.

The killings were carried out by security forces in the western town of Yumare on May 8, 1986.

Octavio Lepage, the interior minister at the time, described the killings as a clash with guerrillas, who were remnants of leftist rebel groups that had largely put down their weapons by the early 1970s.

However, critics say that based on evidence the victims were executed without a fight making the court reopen the case in 2006 at the request of the victims' families.

Lusinchi, who has been living abroad since leaving the presidency in 1989, was also charged with corruption with the senate voting to hold him 'politically responsible' for multibillion-dollar fraud in 1991.

However, he has never been tried on corruption charges.