CARACAS, 13 July: Venezuelan prosecutors have announced “terrorism” and “treason” charges against a prominent opposition politician after intelligence agents arrested him from his car on a Caracas highway.
In a statement, Attorney General Tarek Saab said that Freddy Guevara was detained by members of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) due to “his links with extremist and paramilitary groups associated with the Colombian government”.
“He will be charged with the crimes of terrorism, attacks against the constitutional order, conspiracy to commit a crime and treason,” the statement said.
Guevara, a close ally of opposition politician leader Juan Guaido, posted on social media from inside his car as secret police intercepted him on a Caracas highway.
“Greetings to my family, I am very sorry that you are going through this suffering, I hope it is brief,” the 35-year-old said in a live broadcast.
A spokesperson for Guaido’s office said Guevara, who was pardoned less than a year ago on 2017 charges of instigating violence, was taken to the Sebin intelligence service’s Helicoide prison in Caracas.
The attorney general did not specify where he was being held.
Separately, Guaido also said unidentified armed men threatened him with arrest earlier on Monday as he tried to leave his apartment in an effort to assist Guevara.
Videos circulated by his office showed at least two men with bulletproof vests and balaclavas in the basement of Guaido’s building approaching his car and pointing assault rifles.
One of the men opened the driver’s door and forced the driver onto the ground, yelling “Get out!,” the videos showed.
Venezuela’s information ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
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