United Nations calls for probe on death of jailed Venezuelan politician


Authorities have arrested at least 30 people linked to the drone explosions on August 2, which injured seven soldiers.

Staff members of jailed councilman Fernando Alberto Alban Salazar embrace outside the Bolivarian National Security Service (SEBIN) headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018.

Singing the national anthem while carrying his coffin, Venezuelan lawmakers on Tuesday paid tribute to an opposition politician whom authorities say killed himself by jumping out a window while in prison but whose party says was murdered.

Borges, who led the delegation to the United Nations, said Alban's wife told him that her husband had been under intense pressure to testify against him in the ongoing probe into the alleged plot in early August to kill Maduro using two drones loaded with explosives.

Chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Alban's death, which he classified as a suicide.

The Venezuelan opposition, the Justice First party, of which Alban was a member, insisted that the councilman was killed and that the regime of President Nicolas Maduro was responsible.

In a Twitter post on Monday, Reverol said that while in the waiting room on the 10th floor of the headquarters of state intelligence agency SEBIN, Alban had jumped from the window to his death.

"Alban requested to go to the bathroom and jumped from there", said Saab to the Venezuelan state television (VTV), adding that an "exhaustive investigation" will be conducted to "determine and establish the causes of this unfortunate event".

"There's no doubt this was an assassination", opposition leader Julio Borges said in a video from exile in neighboring Colombia, without providing evidence of his claim.

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También habló del choque por la Copa Libertadores y de Marcelo Gallardo. A mí me gusta jugar, tener la pelota entre los pies", señaló.

The party said that Mr Alban's arrest was because of statements he made at recent United Nations meetings in NY denouncing human-rights violations in Venezuela.

The government had previously given no reason for his arrest. Corker was in Caracas on Monday to meet with government officials and the opposition to assess Venezuela's economic crisis.

"This is disturbing, and the government has a responsibility to ensure all understand how that could have happened", Mr Corker, a Republican, said on Twitter.

Maduro was unharmed but several members of the military sustained injuries.

"And he didn't do it".

The opposition and rights groups have said that Maduro's administration is holding hundreds of political prisoners on trumped-up charges meant to stifle dissent. The UN has said detainees are often subjected to ill treatment, including some documented cases that amount to torture.

Authorities have arrested at least 30 people linked to the drone explosions on August 2, which injured seven soldiers.

Maduro's government denies it holds political prisoners and has said those who have been imprisoned were involved in efforts to destabilize his government.