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Venezuela's high court forbids parliament from holding Maduro trial

By
Andrew V. Pestano
Venezuela's Supreme Tribunal of Justice, the building of which is seen behind a pro-government rally, ruled on Tuesday to approve Attorney General Reinaldo Muñoz's injunction on the opposition-controlled National Assembly. The parliamentarians are to refrain from making efforts to bring President Nicolas Maduro to trial over alleged unconstitutional actions. File Photo by Miguel Gutierrez/European Press Agency
Venezuela's Supreme Tribunal of Justice, the building of which is seen behind a pro-government rally, ruled on Tuesday to approve Attorney General Reinaldo Muñoz's injunction on the opposition-controlled National Assembly. The parliamentarians are to refrain from making efforts to bring President Nicolas Maduro to trial over alleged unconstitutional actions. File Photo by Miguel Gutierrez/European Press Agency

CARACAS, Venezuela, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Venezuela's high court on Tuesday approved an injunction filed by Attorney General Reinaldo Muñoz against the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

Supreme Tribunal of Justice, or TSJ, through its Constitutional Hall, issued the injunction -- or recurso de amparo -- that opposition parliamentarians refrain from carrying out a proposed "political judgment" against President Nicolas Maduro or any other act deemed "unconstitutional."

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The TSJ's ruling comes after the Democratic Unity Roundtable opposition coalition vowed this week to bring Maduro to trial. The National Assembly in late October said Maduro would stand trial -- a symbolic trial that was later delayed -- after the opposition's efforts to carry out a recall referendum were suspended by the National Electoral Council, which is accused, along with the TSJ, of favoring Maduro.

The opposition lawmakers said Maduro staged a coup d'etat by ordering unconstitutional actions, referring to the suspension of the referendum. Muñoz last week said the National Assembly's assertion that Maduro staged an unconstitutional coup d'etat and its intent to make Maduro stand trial are grounds for legal repercussions -- prompting him to file the now-approved injunction.

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Despite the TSJ's ruling, the opposition said it will continue with the trial. Maduro was asked to attend the trial in Caracas's Federal Legislative Palace in person to face the unicameral legislature's charges before it was delayed.

"Absolutely null the new decision by the 'TSJ Unconstitutional Hall' declaring cautious favor for Maduro promoted by the cheap attorney general of the republic," Henry Ramos Allup, leader of Venezuela's National Assembly legislature, said in a statement. "'TSJ Unconstitutional Hall,' fraudulent, designed to violate the Constitution, may give instructions to its gangs of minions but not to the National Assembly elected by the people."

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