Venezuela to prosecute lawmakers who backed failed uprising

Caracas (AFP) –


Venezuela's Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the prosecution of several lawmakers who supported last week's failed uprising orchestrated by opposition leader Juan Guaido.

The court, announcing the ruling in a statement, said it had asked Attorney General Tarek William Saab to handle the "criminal investigation" into six opposition deputies for "high treason" and "conspiracy".

Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly who has been recognized as Venezuela's interim president by more than 50 countries, was not named among the six.

On the list were former National Assembly leader Henry Ramos Allup, Luis Florido, Marianela Magallanes, Jose Calzadilla, Americo De Grazia and Richard Blanco.

An earlier statement by the court had named a seventh opposition figure.

The Supreme Court also asked the ruling Constituent Assembly, packed with supporters of President Nicolas Maduro, to examine the possibility of lifting the lawmakers' parliamentary immunity.

The Constituent Assembly already said it would suspend the immunity of any lawmakers who backed the April 30 uprising, which set off two days of violent clashes between security forces and protesters that left five people dead.

Dozens more were injured and more than 233 were arrested in the unrest.

Saab has said separately that authorities have already issued 18 arrest warrants against "civilians and military plotters" following the April 30 uprising.