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Venezuela’s former lawmaker gets 8-year jail term over 2018 attack on Maduro

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Former Venezuela opposition lawmaker Juan Requesen. (File Photo)

Venezuela's former opposition lawmaker Juan Requesens has been sentenced to eight years in prison for involvement in the 2018 assassination attempt on President Nicolas Maduro, his lawyer says.

The former lawmaker was convicted "for the crime of conspiracy," his lawyer Joel Garcia said on Twitter following Tuesday's ruling.

Sentences for the other 16 accused ranged from 5 to 30 years on charges of terrorism, criminal association, murder, treason, and detonating an explosive in public, reports quoted their lawyers as saying.

Requesens was detained for about two years between 2018 and 2020 in the case related to drone explosions at a military event near Avenida Bolívar, Caracas, on August 4, 2018, where Maduro was addressing the Bolivarian National Guard.

Maduro escaped unhurt in the attack but seven Venezuelan soldiers sustained injuries. At least 30 people including serving generals and Requesens were arrested in the high-profile case.

The Venezuelan government called the attack a failed assassination attempt plotted by the US, then-Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Peru, and the country's opposition.

In his presentation four days after the incident, then-minister of popular power for communication and information Jorge Rodríguez showed a video of Requesens admitting to working with people involved in the attack on Maduro.

Requesens, a former student leader at the Central University of Venezuela, became known for orchestrating anti-government riots in 2014. In his speeches, he promised to topple the elected government of Maduro.

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