On Monday, a Venezuelan military court ordered the incarceration of a judge of a parallel supreme court appointed by the opposition majority parliament. This was reported by a human rights organization and the politician Henrique Capriles.
Alfredo Romero, director of Criminal Forum, an organization that defends political prisoners, confirmed on Twitter that Ángel Zerpa had been arrested. Zerpa is now on hunger strike in rejection of the measure.
Both Romero and Capriles reported that Zerpa appeared before the court without his lawyers, because they were denied access to the courtroom where the hearing was held.
Without a lawyer, without due process, and before a military court. What is that? Another violation,”
said the politician. Romero said the court imposed a public defender.
Maduro warned on Sunday that the 33 judges of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) appointed last Friday by the opposition bloc will be arrested.
Their assets, accounts and everything will be freeze and nobody will defend them,”
Zerpa, one of those magistrates, was arrested on Saturday by the intelligence service. The Parliament claims that the TSJ judges were illegally appointed by the previous chavista majority in 2015 and that they serve the government.
But the TSJ warned that the actions of the chamber, which was declared in contempt since January 2016, are crimes of “usurpation of functions” and “treason to the homeland”, punished with imprisonment.
The Prosecutor’s Office filed an amparo petition seeking the release of Zerpa.