Venezuela probes ex-defence chief

Government denies probe against ally turned Chavez critic politically motivated.

    Baduel helped lead opposition against Chavez's bid to change the charter [GALLO/GETTY]

    General Ernesto Cedeno, the prosecutor, told state television that the military was investigating whether public funds went missing during Baduel's tenure as defence minister.
     
    "This is no sort of political retaliation ... simply an investigation under the law," Cedeno said, urging Baduel on Thursday to co-operate in the probe to "clarify the situation" within the judicial system.
     
    He did not specify whether charges had been filed.
     
    Baduel said on Wednesday that military officials had come to his home to say they had opened a judicial process against him.
     
    He said he had been "charged" but was unclear for what crime.
     
    He said the investigation was "eminently political" and accused prosecutors of following orders that trickled down from Chavez and the current defence minister.
     
    "This has no judicial significance," Baduel said. "Just the political purpose of trying to shut me up, to frighten me."
     
    Baduel played a key role last fall in leading opposition against a constitutional reform package that would have allowed Chavez to run for re-election indefinitely.
     
    Venezuelan voters rejected the reforms in December.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.