Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

France's Iliad reaches for T-Mobile

Read more

  • Live: Israeli soldier feared captured, ceasefire 'over'

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Dozens killed and injured in Taiwan gas blast

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

Caracas accuses anti-Chavez former minister of corruption

Latest update : 2008-10-04

Venezuela on Friday charged an ex-defense minister and ardent critic of leftist President Hugo Chavez with corruption, a move that could sideline one of the socialist leader's most important opponents.


Venezuela on Friday charged an ex-defense minister and ardent critic of leftist President Hugo Chavez with corruption, a move that could sideline one of the socialist leader's most important opponents.

Gen. Raul Baduel, who rescued Chavez from a 2002 coup, broke with Chavez in 2007 and joined opposition parties in accusing the popular leader of concentrating power and using state institutions to crack down on dissidents.

Venezuelan military prosecutor Gen. Ernesto Cedeno said Baduel was charged with stealing around $14 million.

"This investigation has to do with the theft of funds and assets belonging to the Armed Forces," Cedeno told reporters.

A television station showed military officers pushing a reluctant Baduel into a truck to be taken to court. Cedeno said Baduel had been called in to testify after repeatedly refusing to do so, but that he was not under arrest.

The charges could deal a blow to the opposition as it heads into regional elections of governors and mayors next month.

Last year Baduel, for years highly respected among Chavez supporters, helped the opposition thwart a constitutional reform that would have let Chavez run indefinitely for reelection and strengthen his hold over the economy.

Chavez has faced withering criticism around the world for blocking the candidacies of numerous politicians including one emerging opposition leader slated to run for Caracas mayor.

The government last month threw two human rights activists out of the country after they presented a report saying Chavez used state power to intimidate dissidents.

The leftist leader, who the U.S. State Department calls an "autocrat," still enjoys strong support from the OPEC nation's poor for spending soaring oil revenues on social development programs.
 

Date created : 2008-10-04

COMMENT(S)