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Manuel Rosales, former Venezuelan opposition governor, granted house arrest

By Andrew V. Pestano
Manuel Rosales, former Venezuelan opposition governor, granted house arrest
Manuel Rosales, an opposition member who previously served as the governor of Venezuela's Zulia state, has been granted house arrest by the country's highest court, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. Rosales was a candidate for Venezuela's 2006 presidential election. His arrest and exile have been deemed a politically motivated act by the opposition. Photo courtesy of Antonio Ledezma/Twitter

CARACAS, Venezuela, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Manuel Rosales, an opposition member who previously served as the governor of Venezuela's Zulia state, has been granted house arrest by the country's highest court after spending a year in jail.

"Supreme Tribunal of Justice orders the freedom of Manuel Rosales," Venezuela's highest court said in a statement.

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Eveling de Rosales, the former governor's wife, confirmed the court's ruling.

"The political leader indicted for various crimes was favored by the judiciary to replace imprisonment for house arrest," the court said in a statement. "This less burdensome measure will follow the process by which potential liability will be verified in the facts that were alleged by the prosecution."

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Rosales was arrested after returning from exile in Peru to Venezuela in October 2015 following accusations of illegal enrichment six years prior by late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's socialist regime.

"After years of persecution and exile and jail, at last Manuel Rosales may be at home, with family. Now to fight for full freedom!" Jesus "Chuo" Torrealba, leader of the Democratic Unity Roundtable opposition coalition, said in a statement.

Rosales was a candidate for Venezuela's 2006 presidential election. His arrest has been deemed a politically motivated act by the opposition.

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"Many thanks to the noble people for the demonstrations of affection and support over a year of my unjust imprisonment," Rosales said in a statement on Friday, referring to protests held against his imprisonment.

Human rights groups and the Venezuelan opposition estimate there are at least 109 political prisoners in Venezuela. The opposition is working to hold a recall referendum this year that could oust Maduro from the presidency.

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