05:13 GMT04 June 2020
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    CARACAS (Sputnik) - The Venezuelan Prosecutor General's Office has summoned opposition figure Juan Guaido to question him in the case of an attempted coup and the attempted assassination of President Nicolas Maduro, Attorney General Tarek William Saab said.

    "We have summoned to the Prosecutor General’s Office on Thursday at 09:00 a.m. [13:00 GMT] one of the main people implicated [in an attempted coup], according to Cliver Alcala, I am talking about Juan Guaido", Saab told reporters.

    According to the attorney general, Guaido must respond "to the charges of this attempted coup, attempted murder of the head of state brought forward by a fugitive citizen and the main actor, as he claims".

    Saab said that the attempted coup failed when the $500,000 worth weapons were seized last week. Saab also cited the ex-general's interview with the Colombian La W radio broadcaster, in which Alcala said that the purchase of these weapons was part of his agreement with Guaido and some US accomplices. The Colombian authorities knew nothing about the deal, he said.

    Saab also noted that prosecutors had planned to request Alcala's extradition from Colombia to Venezuela, but the former general was sent to the United States, where he is wanted by the Department of Justice. Last week, the department pressed criminal charges against Maduro and high-ranking politicians, including Alcala, for allegedly facilitating drug trafficking into the United States.

    Last week, prosecutors launched an investigation after a cache of weapons linked to retired Venezuelan Gen. Cliver Alcala Cordones was seized in neighbouring Colombia. The attorney general said that they were to be smuggled into Venezuela for being used in the coup attempt that subsequently failed. Alcala then surrendered in Colombia and said that Guaido was involved in plotting the coup, according to Saab.

    The Venezuelan Prosecutor General's Office issued an arrest warrant for Alcala for betraying the homeland, arms trafficking and an attempt to assassinate the head of state.

    The political situation in the Latin American country escalated last January when Guaido triggered a political crisis in Venezuela by proclaiming himself interim president in a bid to oust re-elected president, Maduro from power amid mass protests. Several countries, including the US, endorsed him as Venezuela's leader and urged Maduro to step down. The president, in turn, called Guaido a US puppet and openly accused the US of attempting to orchestrate a coup and gain access to the country’s oil reserves via bringing a puppet politician to power.

    Tags:
    Nicolas Maduro, assassination, attempted murder, attempted coup, prosecutor's office, prosecutors, Juan Guaido, Venezuela
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