CARACAS – The Venezuelan Supreme Court on Thursday turned down an appeal filed by opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, upholding the sentence of nearly 14 years in prison given to him by a lower court, defense attorney Juan Carlos Gutierrez told EFE.
“They ruled the appeal of the sentence inadmissible, so we are looking at the possibility of trying international efforts,” Gutierrez said, adding that “the Lopez case is now closed” in Venezuela.
A high court panel ruled that the appeal was “manifestly unfounded,” an excerpt from the ruling posted on the Globovision website said.
The appeal put together by the defense team “followed jurisprudence closely” and the high court committed an “error” by “breaking with the rule of law and its jurisprudential line,” Gutierrez told EFE.
The 45-year-old Lopez was convicted by a Caracas court on Sept. 10, 2015, of inciting violence during mass protests in 2014 and sentenced to serve 13 years and nine months at the Ramo Verde military prison.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump welcomed Lopez’s wife, Lilian Tintori, to the White House and called for the Venezuelan opposition leader’s release.
“Venezuela should allow Leopoldo Lopez, a political prisoner & husband of @liliantintori (just met w/ @marcorubio) out of prison immediately,” Trump tweeted after Wednesday’s meeting.
The president also posted a photograph of himself with Tintori in the Oval Office.