Wed, Oct 10, 2018 - Page 7 News List

Alleged Maduro ‘attack’ plotter kills self

MURDER?Opposition First Justice party member Henrique Capriles cried foul, saying that Caracas City Councilor Fernando Alban would ‘NEVER have acted against his life’

AFP, CARACAS

Staff members of jailed Caracas City Councilor Alberto Alban Salazar embrace outside the Bolivarian National Security Service headquarters in Caracas on Monday.

Photo: AP

An opposition member alleged to have taken part in a failed exploding drone “attack” on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro killed himself in pretrial detention at intelligence headquarters, Venezuela’s top prosecutor said on Monday.

Attorney General Tarek William Saab told the Venezuelan Television Corp that Caracas City Councilor Fernando Alban “requested to go to the bathroom, and when there, he threw himself off a 10th floor.”

Alban’s First Justice party, a member of the opposition, called his death a murder.

Alban was among at least 15 people arrested and charged for alleged participation in the Aug. 4 incident.

Maduro was seen reacting on live television to an off-camera explosion while he addressed a military parade in Caracas.

A second explosion was heard and then the assembled troops could be seen breaking formation and scattering in panic.

Maduro said the blasts were from explosives-laden drones sent to assassinate him, although opposition figures accuse Maduro of fabricating the incident to step up repression in the country.

Alban was arrested on Friday last week.

Former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, also a First Justice member, said that what happened “is the regime’s full responsibility.”

“Those of us who knew Fernando know that he could NEVER have acted against his life,” he said on Twitter.

The city councilor’s lawyer, Joel Garcia, told reporters it was too soon to confirm whether the case was a suicide or not.

Venezuelan Minister of the People’s Power for Interior Relations and Minister of Justice General Nestor Reverol lamented the death of the politician who he said was “involved in destabilizing acts directed from abroad.”

Venezuela accuses Colombia of shielding the authors of the alleged assassination attempt.

The US in August condemned alleged arbitrary detentions and forced confessions by the Venezuelan government in its investigation of the drone incident.

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