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News > Latin America

Venezuela's Top Prosecutor: Two Intelligence Officials Arrested, Charged over Acosta Death

  • Venezuela's Attorney General Tarek William Saab

    Venezuela's Attorney General Tarek William Saab | Photo: Mippci

Published 1 July 2019

Acosta has been in prison for the past few months after he found guilty of participating in the coup attempt on April 30 against President Nicolas Maduro. 

Venezuela's Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced Monday that two military counter-intelligence officials have been arrested in connection to the death of coup figure, army captain Rafael Acosta Arevalo, adding that the two have been charged with homicide over his death. 


Venezuelan Top Prosecutor Confirms Death of Army Captain Acosta, Announces Probe

"First relevant expertise and preliminary investigations have been established, the link between two officials attached to the Directorate-General for Military Intelligence [who] has been linked to this regrettable fact," William Saab said on his official Twitter account. "

For this reason, the @MinpublicoVE [the Public Ministry] ... requested the pre-trial detention of Tte (GNB) Ascanio Antonio Tarascio and Sgto 2(GNB) Estiben José Zarate, as allegedly responsible for the incident," the official added in using the Spanish acronym for the country's National Guard. 

He went on to explain that the prosecutor in charge of the case has charged the two officials with manslaughter and added that the proceedings remain preliminary and that his office will continue investigating the incident and collecting evidence. 

The top prosecutor concluded his statement by saying that he "lamented these unfortunate acts, which are not part of the democratic spirit of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela." 

Acosta Arévalo died in the hospital 15 hours after the judge in his case ordered medical attention for him after he fainted at a trial hearing for his involvement in the coup attempt of April 30. Reports said he was on a wheelchair and showed signs of torture.

He was part of an attempted coup d'état against the government of President Maduro, a plan that was carried out by the Venezuelan right led by lawmaker Juan Guaido with the help of the U.S. and its right-wing allies in the region, according to reports and claims by the Venezuelan government.

The attempted coup failed to realize its objectives as army and intel agents managed to foil the plan, according to evidence presented by the Venezuelan government. 

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