Sat | Oct 20, 2018

Venezuelan politician mourned after suspicious death

Published:Thursday | October 11, 2018 | 12:12 AM
Opposition leaders and friends holds a giant Venezuelan flag as they walk behind the hearse containing the remains of opposition activist Fernando Alban during his funeral in Caracas, Venezuela, yesterday.

CARACAS, (AP):

Venezuela's chief prosecutor doubled down Wednesday on claims that a jailed opposition activist killed himself, while the Trump administration condemned the government of President Nicol·s Maduro for its alleged involvement in the suspicious death.

Attorney General Tarek William Saab appeared on state TV and said preliminary findings rule out foul play in the death of the Fernando Alban. He held up a photo of an open window at the police headquarters where Alban had been held, and cited autopsy results finding no injuries prior to those from the fatal impact of his fall from the 10th story of the building.

"All the evidence so far collected reveals the unfortunate circumstance that Alban committed suicide," said Saab. "Be assured that we will get to the bottom of the investigation and find the truth."

In Washington, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement condemning "the Maduro regime's involvement" in Alban's death.

She said the Trump administration would "continue to increase pressure on the Maduro regime and its insiders until democracy is restored in Venezuela".

Opposition supporters, meanwhile, poured on to the streets of the capital sobbing and waving Venezuelan flags to join the funeral procession of the Caracas-area city councilman.

"We want justice!" mourners chanted, many directing their anger at the socialist president: "Maduro is a killer!"

Alban, 56, was arrested Friday at the capital's international airport upon arrival from a trip to New York to galvanise world opinion against Maduro's socialist government.