Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Venezuela's Sacked Top Prosecutor Wants ICC to Capture, Try Maduro

Venezuela's Sacked Top Prosecutor Wants ICC to Capture, Try Maduro

Thursday, 16 November, 2017 - 19:30
Venezuela's dismissed chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz speaks during an interview with Reuters in Caracas, Venezuela August 10, 2017, Reuters

Venezuela's ex-prosecutor demanded on Thursday that the International Criminal Court captures and trys President Nicolas Maduro and other top officials for crimes against humanity over murders by police and military officers.

"(They happened) under the orders of the executive branch, as part of a social cleansing plan carried out by the government," she told reporters in the Hague.

According to Reuters, Luisa Ortega was fired in August after she opposed Maduro's plan to create an all-powerful legislature called the Constituent Assembly.

Ortega said her complaint, filed on Wednesday with the Hague-based tribunal, was prompted by some 8,290 deaths between 2015 and 2017 at the hands of officials who received instructions the government.

The Maduro government accused Ortega of turning a blind eye to violence by opposition supporters, and has also leveled a raft of corruption charges at her.

The complaint also accuses top officials such as Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino and intelligence chief Gustavo Gonzalez of involvement in the alleged abuses.

Ortega's critics say she was closely allied with Maduro's efforts to crack down on dissent and, before her break with him, had helped jail opposition leaders on trumped-up charges.

Maduro's government insists it respects human rights and says opposition demonstrations were Washington-backed efforts to violently overthrow him.

Despite their bitter differences, Venezuela's government and opposition agreed on Wednesday to a new round of foreign-mediated talks in the Dominican Republic on Dec. 1.

Editor Picks