Felipe Gonzalez announced today that he would abide by an order from the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia [Supreme Court] barring him for officially working on Leopoldo Lopez’s legal defence team.
The TSJ made the announcement yesterday as Gonzalez arrived in the country. The court’s president, Gladys Gutierrez, said that since Gonzalez was not legally allowed to practice law in Venezuela, he would be unable to defend Lopez in any capacity. At the time, Lopez’s lawyers suggested that Gonzalez would be able to serve as a consultant.
Gonzalez announced the decision during a press conference today in which he said:
I will abide by the TSJ’s decision to not join Lopez’s defence.
At the same time, Gonzalez claimed that his original intention had always been to join the team as a consultant in an unofficial capacity.
I never asked to become one of Leopoldo Lopez’s lawyers, only to provide technical consulting and that’s [part of] one’s legal rights to a defence.
Instead, Gonzalez said that he has asked for permission to attend Lopez’s hearings, and pending government approval, will do so.
Gonzalez Visits Ledezma, Awaiting Permission to Visit Lopez
During the same press conference, Gonzalez announced that he had visited Antonio Ledezma, and that he was awaiting government permission to visit Leopoldo Lopez. Gonzalez met Ledezma at his home in Caracas for about half an hour.
Ledezma has been under house arrest pending his recovery from surgery on April 25.
PSUV Continued Assault on Gonzalez
A day after Maduro and the country’s top court spoke against Gonzalez’ visit to the country, Jorge Rodriguez, the mayor of the Libertador municipality, joined the fray. Rodriguez accused Gonzalez of being a lobbyist for private interests, saying:
Mr. Gonzalez is one of the most conspicuous lobbyists in the history of humanity.
Rodriguez also accused Gonzalez of corruption, and called him “Mr. 20%” after suggesting that Gonzalez routinely took in 20% in kickbacks during his term as Prime Minister of Spain for projects conducted in the country at the time. He also said that Gonzalez and infamous drug kingpin Pablo Escobar were “personal friends”, and that Gonzalez was personally responsible for the deaths of 28 Spanish citizens during the 1980s.
Torrealba: MUD OK with Pre-Election Agreement
Jesus Torrealba, the head of the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica, said today that the bloc would sign an agreement with the government vowing to respect the results of the parliamentary election that is supposed to take place later this year.
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