The Latest: Ousted Venezuela prosecutor vows graft evidence

AP News
Posted: Aug 22, 2017 2:52 PM
The Latest: Ousted Venezuela prosecutor vows graft evidence

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on Venezuela's political conflict (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

President Nicolas Maduro says the chief prosecutor removed by an all-powerful constitutional assembly and her lawmaker husband are now "fugitives from Venezuelan justice."

Maduro told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday that Luisa Ortega Diaz had just pretended to be a loyal follower of former President Hugo Chavez while working with the U.S. to damage his government.

Ortega fled to Colombia on Friday, a day after the government-stacked Supreme Court ordered the arrest of her husband, German Ferrer. Venezuelan authorities accuse him of operating a $6 million extortion ring under Ortega's watch.

Many believe the charges are politically motivated.

Ortega is currently en route to Brazil, where she says she'll participate in a Mercosur meeting Wednesday. She promises to share information she says will prove that Maduro and his allies are involved in serious acts of corruption.

2:10 p.m.

Venezuela's ousted chief prosecutor says she is traveling to Brazil to "show the world" evidence that President Nicolas Maduro has been involved in serious acts of corruption.

In a statement provided to opposition news site La Patilla, Luisa Ortega says she will participate in a conference for public prosecutors from the Mercosur trade bloc Wednesday.

The South American bloc suspended Venezuela in early August for failing to uphold democratic norms.

Ortega said Tuesday that the Mercosur event will allow her to present incriminating evidence against Maduro and his allies. She did not give details.

A new, all-powerful constitutional assembly removed Ortega from her post shortly after forming. She has refused to recognize its decision and fled to Colombia with her husband Friday.


1:15 p.m.

Venezuela's ousted chief prosecutor is on her way to Brazil.

Immigration authorities in Colombia announced Tuesday that Luisa Ortega Diaz has left the country, four days after she arrived aboard a private plane and a day after Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he'd offer her asylum if she requests it.

Venezuela's new pro-government constitutional assembly booted Ortega from her post in early August after the longtime socialist party loyalist broke with the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Ortega told a group of Latin American prosecutors Friday that Maduro removed her in order to stop a probe linking him and his inner circle to nearly $100 million in bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

Colombian officials didn't say why Ortega was headed to Brazil or what she would do there.