Mistrial declared in case of anti-coup activists arrested in DC police raid on Venezuelan Embassy
Added 02-14-20 11:37:02pm EST - “Jurors who heard the case of the four activists who were invited by Caracas to protect the Venezuelan Embassy in the US capital ?" only to be nabbed in a police raid on the compound ?" failed to reach a verdict due to a hung jury.” - Rt.com
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Four members of the ‘Embassy Protection Collective’ – Adrienne Pine, Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers and David Paul – are each facing a year in prison and a $100,000 fine if found guilty of interfering with the US State Department’s attempt to seize the compound and hand it over to the “ambassador” of Venezuela, “appointed” by opposition leader Juan Guaido.
However, the jurors selected to hear the case apparently were not convinced by the regime-change narrative on Venezuela championed by the Trump administration and adopted by the prosecution team, and as the time came to deliver a verdict on Friday, they failed to do so.
Journalist Max Blumenthal, who reported from the courtroom, said that the prosecution put forward a series of dubious arguments – such as that the Guaido-appointed “ambassador” was seeking a “return” of the embassy, despite the fact it had never been controlled by the US-backed opposition in the first place.
In closing rebuttal, the govt prosecutor stated that Guaido “ambassador” @carlosvecchio wanted the Venezuelan embassy “returned” to him - though he had never controlled it. The defense was not allowed to rebut this. Jurors have been subjected to a tidal wave of misinformation.
According to Blumenthal, Judge Beryl Howell, who presided over the case, argued that since Trump was president, it was his right to recognize or un-recognize foreign heads of state at will. Ironically telling the courtroom that “elections matter,” she appeared to ignore the fact that incumbent Venezuela leader Nicolas Maduro was reelected for a second six-year term in May 2018, while Guaido – who declared himself ‘interim president’ one year ago – was ousted as the head of the opposition-led National Assembly last month in a vote by fellow MPs.
In closing rebuttal, the govt prosecutor stated that Guaido “ambassador” @carlosvecchio wanted the Venezuelan embassy “returned” to him - though he had never controlled it. The defense was not allowed to rebut this. Jurors have been subjected to a tidal wave of misinformation.— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) February 13, 2020
Judge Howell proclaimed today that “elections matter” - referring not to Maduro’s victory in 2018, but to Trump’s in 2016. She was defending Trump’s right to recognize anyone he wants as president of a sovereign foreign country, whether Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck or Juan Guaido.— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) February 13, 2020
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