- Title: Venezuelaâ€™s chief prosecutor suspended, blocked from leaving country
- Date: 5th August 2017
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA (AUGUST 05, 2017) (REUTERS) COURTYARD OUTSIDE VENEZUELA'S PARLIAMENT BUILDING VENEZUELA'S NEWLY-SEATED NATIONAL CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY VOTING TO SUSPEND CHIEF PROSECUTOR LUISA ORTEGA ASSEMBLY MEMBERS IN SESSION ASSEMBLY MEMBER, DIOSDADO CABELLO, MEETING WITH COLLEAGUES (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ASSEMBLY MEMBER, DIOSDADO CABELLO, SAYING: "Luisa Ortega Diaz has already been suspended from her position as chief prosecutor and additionally, she has been blocked from leaving the country and her accounts have been frozen. This has created a whole in the Public Ministry and we have requested that she not only be suspended, but that she also be removed." ASSEMBLY MEMBERS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ASSEMBLY MEMBER, DIOSDADO CABELLO, SAYING: "The work of this National Constituent Assembly should be no more than two years so long as the tasks it has been assigned to are completed - the functions for which it has been called." VARIOUS OF ASSEMBLY IN SESSION
- Embargoed: 19th August 2017 19:26
- Keywords: Venezuela constituent assembly Chief Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016SVQMO7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Venezuela's chief prosecutor was fired on Saturday (August 5) and ordered to stand trial, less than 24 hours after a newly-elected legislative superbody was installed with sweeping powers to strengthen President Nicolas Maduro's grip on power.
Maduro loyalists at the Supreme Court sent a letter to the newly-seated National Constituent Assembly informing it of an indictment against Ortega, accusing her of "alleged commission of serious misconduct," without further outlining the charge.
The constituent assembly replaced Ortega with Maduro's human rights ombudsman, Tarek Saab, a government ally who the opposition says has turned a blind eye to state abuses.
The new legislative body has no checks on its powers, and critics say the decision to remove Ortega is an ominous sign of a swerve by Maduro into full-blown dictatorship.
The assembly will function for up to two years, according to a resolution it passed on Saturday.
The body's stated goal is to lock in the policies of late President Hugo Chavez, who put Venezuela on its socialist path when he was first elected nearly two decades ago.
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