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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 139 of 190 that judges and prosecutors were pressured to convict political opponents of the regime by their superiors, who would give them their orders verbally in frequent meetings. Human rights groups and people in attendance at Mr. López’s trial said his defense was barred from presenting nearly all of the evidence in its favor, while the prosecution— including Nieves—had free range to argue how the opposition leader incited violence by sending subliminal messages through social media platforms like Twitter. “This [defection of Nieves] is very important because it shows that Leopoldo Lopez is a political prisoner and that the regime is jailing its political opponents,” said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Washington-based Council of the Americas.594 In the wake of the revelations, Mr. Lopez’s family members and opposition leaders have demanded freedom for the 44-year-old leader of the Popular Will party, who is currently serving his sentence in a military prison. In Caracas, Ortega Diaz personally defended the trial595 and denied that Mr. Nieves was pressured and said the prosecutor was fired in recent days “because he abandoned his position.” “He ceded to the pressures of foreign factors and sectors of the country, not the General Prosecutor’s Office,” she said. “The prosecutor’s office doesn’t pressure anyone.” 596 In addition, it is worth noting that there were at least two separate incidents of persecution against the family member of Leopoldo Lopez, which illustrate the shocking extent of intimidation tactics of the GoV. Leopoldo’s father, Leopoldo López Gil, is now the subject of an arrest warrant which was issued on 29 September 2015 by the Control Court of Caracas Metropolitan Area.597 The warrant follows a previous lawsuit that ruled that Leopoldo López Gil and 21 other newspaper managers were guilty of defamation because of articles which they published and which were perceived as being 594 WALL STREET JOURNAL. [2015] [Online] 26 October 2015. Available from: sham-1445895707. [Accessed on 4 November 2015] 595 MUNDO24. [2014] Luisa Ortega Díaz asegura que “no hay retardo procesal en caso de Leopoldo López.” MUNDO24. [Online] 6 November. Available from: asegura-que-hay-retardo-procesal-en-caso-de-leopoldo-López/ [Accessed 25 October, 2015]; ULTIMAS NOTICIAS. (2015) Ortega Díaz se reunió con cancilleres de Unasur. Ultimas Noticias. [Online] 6 March. Available from: con-cancilleres-de-unasur.aspx [Accessed 25 October, 2015] 596 WALL STREET JOURNAL. [2015] [Online] 26 October 2015. Available from: sham-1445895707. [Accessed on 4 November 2015] 597 LA INFORMACION. (2015) Ordenan forzar a directivos de medios demandados a comparecer ante justicia venezolana. La Información. [Online] 8 October. Available from: medios-demandados-a-comparecer-ante-justicia-venezolana_SQiI87iUwaLGY6TpKZUhu1/

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