Venezuela's top court orders re-arrest of opposition figure Lopez

Caracas (AFP) –


Venezuela's top court on Thursday ordered the arrest of opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez, who has sought refuge in the Spanish embassy since claiming to have been freed from house arrest two days ago by rebel military personnel.

Lopez, who was imprisoned in 2014 and transferred to house arrest three years later, made a sensational public appearance alongside opposition leader Juan Guaido on Tuesday as the National Assembly president tried to incite a military uprising against President Nicolas Maduro.

Later that day Lopez sought refuge in the Chilean embassy with his wife and daughter before moving to the Spanish embassy.

The Supreme Court accused Lopez, 48, of "flagrantly" violating the terms of his house arrest.

Lopez's wife Lilian Tintori claimed on Twitter on Wednesday that their house had been robbed and ransacked while they were away.

Lopez was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2014 after he was accused of having incited violent protests against Maduro, which left 43 people dead.

At the time he was a leading opposition figure and the founder of the Popular Will party, which counted Guaido among its members.

The Harvard-trained Lopez comes from a prominent family -- some of his ancestors held top government positions -- but has been branded as "far right" and a "coup plotter" by socialist Maduro.

Popular Will describes itself as a progressive center-left movement.