By Deisy Buitrago
CARACAS (Reuters) – Former Venezuelan defense minister and retired General Raul Baduel, considered a political prisoner by opposition to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, died after contracting the coronavirus, the country’s attorney general said on Tuesday.
Baduel was arrested in 2009 on corruption charges after falling out with the ruling Socialist Party. He was once placed under house arrest but returned to prison in 2017 for allegedly conspiring against Maduro.
“We regret the death of Raul Isaias Baduel from heart-respiratory failure as a result of Covid-19, although he was receiving the corresponding medical treatment and had taken the first dose of the vaccine,” Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek Saab said in a statement. publication on Twitter.
Saab did not specify whether Baduel was hospitalized or died in prison.
Human rights groups blamed the Venezuelan government for Baduel’s death.
“With the death of Raul Isaias Baduel, the number of political prisoners who died in custody has reached 10,” said activist Gonzalo Himiob on Twitter. “The responsibility for the life or death of any prisoner rests with the State.”
Last year, Baduel’s daughter told Reuters that he had not yet been tried on the second round of charges brought against him and that the lawyer representing him had not had access to the case.
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