Venezuelan Opposition Leader Faces Jail Term
    2014-02-20 22:35:06     Xinhua       Web Editor: Jiang

Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez could face jail term after a court on Thursday approved his arrest and charged him with instigating violence, property damage and criminal association.

Lopez's first hearing started late Wednesday and ended early Thursday. He will spend the next 45 days in protective custody and wait for the trial.

The former mayor of the wealthy Chacao district in Caracas turned himself in last Tuesday and has been under the protection of the Venezuelan government from death threats made by ultraconservative groups.

The opposition leader could face up to 10 years in prison according to the organic law against organized crime and terrorist financing.

Lopez was charged for his alleged role in the violent protests in Caracas since Feb. 12, which have left three people dead and over 70 others injured.

The demonstrators demanded the ouster of President Nicolas Maduro and the release of jailed protesters.

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