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Yahoo: Venezuela opposition leader Lopez jailed for nearly 14 years


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http://news.yahoo.com/venezuela-opposition-leader-lopez-gets-nearly-14-years-025106282.html

Venezuela opposition leader Lopez jailed for nearly 14 years

 

Jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison for inciting violence during deadly protests in 2014.

 

The popular dissident, a US-trained economist who has been held at a military prison since February 2014, is accused of inciting violence against the government of President Nicolas Maduro and attempting to force his ouster.

 

Defense lawyer Roberto Marrero made the announcement late Thursday on his Twitter account, noting that Lopez will be held at the Ramo Verde military prison, the site where he is currently being held.

 

The sentence was for 13 years, nine months and seven days.

 

"If the sentence condemns me you will be more fearful to read it than I will be to hear it, because you know that I'm innocent," Lopez defiantly told the judge according to a witness, David Smolansky.

Fighting broke out earlier in the day between supporters of Lopez, 44, and pro-government demonstrators outside the courthouse.

 

Wielding sticks and plastic bottles, supporters of socialist president Maduro's government descended on a group of Lopez's followers who had been waiting since the early hours of the morning for the final phase of his trial.

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