Bid to strip Venezuelan lawmaker's immunity

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Associated Press

Posted on March 19, 2014 at 1:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 19 at 2:32 AM

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's National Assembly has voted to begin a process that could strip an opposition lawmaker of her immunity from prosecution for alleged crimes related to anti-government protests.

Government supporters, who have a majority in the assembly, accuse lawmaker Maria Corina Machado, an outspoken critic of President Nicolas Maduro, of civil disobedience and efforts to destabilize his government.

The constitution gives elected lawmakers immunity, but also provides a process to strip it. Tuesday's vote was to take evidence of alleged crimes to prosecutors. There would need to be approval from prosecutors, the Supreme Court and another vote by the National Assembly to strip her immunity.

Opposition party Leopoldo Lopez has just completed a month in jail on charges of inciting violent protests that have left 26 dead.

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