A Venezuelan court on Thursday issued a five-year jail sentence to a judge who was arrested in 2009 after then-President Hugo Chavez demanded she be imprisoned, a case often cited by critics as evidence of the country’s curtailed judicial independence.
Judge Maria Afiuni was jailed without a warrant shortly after Chavez criticized one of her rulings and demanded she be given 30 years in prison. Her lawyer, Juan Carlos Goitia, said she had been convicted of corruption, according to a sentence read to him by the judge presiding over the case, adding that he had not received a copy of the sentence.
Goitia said the tribunal did not provide any explanation of what act of corruption was involved.
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