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REDACTED Page 135 of 190 Cabello, personally drove López to prison, 571 a function that does not have any connection with his official duties as legislator. On 18 February 2014, López appeared before a court. The Prosecutor, Narda Sanabria, dropped the most serious crimes listed in the detention order, such as terrorism, homicide and causing serious injury. The Prosecutor was forced to do so, after the Venezuelan newspaper Últimas Noticias published evidence that suggests that uniformed officers together with armed men in plainclothes were responsible for one of the deaths on 12 February of which he was accused.572 However, the prosecutor formally charged him with other charges, such as arson, damage to property and conspiracy to commit a crime.573 These crimes carry a penalty of at least 13 years’ imprisonment. The judge, Ralenis Tovar Guillén, a temporary appointee,574 stated that there was enough evidence to support this charges and ordered López to remain in pre- trial detention.575 On 26 February 2014, the regional news station NTN24 disclosed text messages given to them by Gabriela Mata, a friend of Judge Tovar. In a conversation using the smartphone application WhatsApp and confirmed by the media as having been traced to her telephone number, Judge Tovar illustrated her lack of judicial independence, 571 NOTICIAS24. (2014) Cabello lleva a Leopoldo López a una cárcel fuera de Caracas: estamos “cuidando su vida”, dice Maduro. Noticias24. [Online] 18 February. Available from: leopoldo-Lopez-a-una-carcel-del-interior-del-pais/ [Accessed 25 October, 2015]; DIARIO16. (2014) ¡INSÓLITO! Presidente del congreso venezolano condujo auto que llevó a López a la Cárcel. Diario. [Online] 19 February. Available from: venezolano-condujo-auto-que-llevo-Lopez-carcel [Accessed 25 October, 2015] 572 HRW (2014). Punished for Protesting: Rights Violations in Venezuela’s Streets, Detention Centers, and Justice System. p.28; VIVANCO, J.M. (2014) La persecución penal de Leopoldo López. El País. [Online] 12 March. Available from: [Accessed 25 October, 2015]; CASTILL, M. and PAYNE, E. Murder Charges Against Venezuela Opposition Leader Droppe. CNN. [Online] 20 February. Available from: [Accessed 25 October, 2015] 573 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. (2015) Venezuela: the Faces of Impunity. p.38; LA CRUZ, V. (2014) Fiscalía acusa a Leopoldo López de cuatro delitos. El Universal. [Online] 4 April. Available from: leopoldo-Lopez-de-cuatro-delitos [Accessed 25 October, 2015] 574 BARRIOS, D. (2014) Leopoldo López entró al Palacio de Justicia con su esposa, padre y abogado. Ultimas Noticias. [Online] 19 February. Available from: justicia-con-su.aspx [Accessed 25 October, 2015]; NOTI ACTUAL. (2015) Así Fue La Llegada De Leopoldo López Al Palacio De Justicia Junto A Diosdado Cabello (Video). Noto Actual. [Online] Available from: junto-a-diosdado-cabello-video/ [Accessed 25 October, 2015] 575 HRW. (2014) Venezuela: Violence Against Protesters, Journalists. Human Rights Watch. [Online] 21 February. Available from: protesters-journalists [Accessed 25 October, 2015]; AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. (2015) Venezuela: the Faces of Impunity. p.39

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