CARACAS – The head of Venezuela’s Supreme Court (TSJ), Maikel Moreno, reported on Tuesday that the decision regarding bringing Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz to trial will be announced within five days.
“Within five days we will render our decision and make it public,” said the magistrate, thus concluding the oral and public hearing against the AG, who was not present.
The high court on Tuesday held a hearing with the aim of determining if there is any reason to put Ortega on trial at the request of Chavista lawmaker Pedro Carreño.
Ortega stands accused of “serious errors” in carrying out her duties, and Carreño has called for her removal and for her to be placed on trial.
During the hearing, Carreño accused Ortega of “placing herself in opposition to the judicial branch ... (and) the executive branch” by saying that the TSJ had broken “the constitutional thread” and accusing the government of President Nicolas Maduro of practicing “state terrorism.”
The attorney general recently distanced herself from the government after the TSJ more than three months ago took over the functions of the opposition-controlled Parliament, and later adopted a stance against the constitutional assembly convened by Maduro to draft a new Constitution.
Ortega did not attend the high court hearing on Tuesday saying that the legal proceedings launched against her is a violation of the law with the aim of overriding the Public Ministry.
“This decision (to bring me to trial) will only be possible by violating the right to defense and due process, and for that reason I did not go to the Supreme Court,” she said in an appearance at the AG’s Office.
If bringing Ortega to trial is approved, this could result in her removal from office, thus leaving two assistant attorneys general – one named by the high court, Katherine Harrington, and the other named on Monday by Parliament, Rafael Gonzalez – as potential candidates for the top slot in the AG’s Office.
Since April 1, Venezuela has been beset by a wave of pro- and anti-government protests, some of which have turned violent, leaving at least 90 people dead and more than 1,000 injured, according to the government.