Venezuela’s Top Court Denies Last Appeal of Political Prisoner Leopoldo López
After serving three years out of a 14-year prison sentence, the future just got much bleaker for political prisoner Leopoldo López.
The Venezuelan Supreme Court closed the case for good, having ratified the sentence given to López, meaning he will have to carry out the rest of his 14-year sentence pending further international pressure to have him released.
This Thursday, February 16, Venezuela’s highest judicial court dismissed an appeal filed in August by López’s defense lawyer, Juan Carlos Gutiérrez. He explained that, faced with the court’s decision, they will now have to turn to an international approach.
“The TSJ reiterates the injustice, the illegality that has been this process,” he said.
The court dismissed López’s appeal as “manifestly unfounded,” according to an excerpt from the ruling.
Gutiérrez said the appeal had been introduced “with strict adherence to jurisprudence” and claimed the courts “break with the rule of law and its jurisprudential line.”
López was sentenced on September 10, 2015 to 13 years and nine months in prison. The conviction is the maximum for crimes of public instigation, conspiracy to commit a crime, property damage and arson.
On August 12, 2016, the Venezuelan Court of Appeals ratified Lopez’s ruling, claiming that he should remain in prison for that full time period.
The Popular Volunteer Party has called for a demonstration in response.
Source: Diario Las Américas