CARACAS – Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was sentenced on Thursday to 13 years and 9 months in prison, Lopez’s Voluntad Popular party and lawyer Roberto Marrero said.
“The hearing has ended. Judge Barreiros has sentenced Leopoldo to 13 years, 9 months and 7 days in prison. Place of imprisonment, Ramo Verde,” wrote Marrero on Twitter.
This is the maximum sentence for the charges against Lopez that include public incitement, conspiracy, property damage and arson in connection with violent acts during an anti-government march that he helped organize on Feb. 12, 2014, which left three people dead.
Lopez will continue to be held in the Ramo Verde military prison near Caracas where he has been imprisoned since he turned himself into authorities on Feb. 18, 2014.
Students Christian Holdack, Demian Martin, and Angel Gonzalez, who were facing the same charges as Lopez, were sentenced to 10 years but granted conditional liberty.
VP leader Luis Florido called the sentence unjust, illegal and unconstitutional while Henrique Capriles, governor of Miranda and two-time presidential candidate, wrote on Twitter, “Justice in our Venezuela is rotten, today more than ever we understand that the road to freedom for Leopoldo and everyone starts on #6D,” in reference to the parliamentary elections on Dec. 6.
Venezuelan opposition leader Maria Corina Machado also tweeted: “This criminal regime sentences an innocent man without a single proof. All Venezuelans and the democratic world condemn the regime.”