CARACAS – The new attorney general of Venezuela, Tarek William Saab, said on Saturday that the dismissal of his predecessor, Luisa Ortega Diaz, restores a judicial order that has been severely damaged, while defending his appointment because of his respect for legality.
“The decision was taken in line with the constitution and Venezuelan law... in order to restore the severely damaged judicial order,” Saab said in speaking before a plenary session of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), which appointed him on Saturday.
Ortega Diaz was deposed the same day by the ANC after the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) decided to suspend her “while being indicted for presumably committing serious offenses.”
Saab said the Attorney General’s Office had become “an industry for widely incriminating” the very poor while Ortega was in office, and vowed to review what the AG’s office had been up to.
Saab said the AG’s office directed by Ortega Diaz was an “accomplice” of the anti-government protests over the past four months that have left at least 120 people dead.
Meanwhile, the deposed Ortega Diaz warned that the government of President Nicolas Maduro seeks to “perpetuate the embezzlement of the nation” and said she does not accept her dismissal by the ANC.
“In Venezuela, a coup d’etat is in the works against the constitution, promoted by the Supreme Court of Justice and the chief executive,” said a statement published by the AG’s office and signed by Ortega Diaz as “Attorney General of the Republic.”
“Today, I announce that the Supreme Court of Justice and the illegal National Constituent Assembly decided to remove me from my position as attorney general of the republic to stop me from defending the rights of the people,” the note said.
The former AG said she is faithful to the 1999 constitution and will so remain “until the end.”
Speaking directly to all Venezuelans, she said this isn’t just about the AG’s office, but rather it’s a “small sample of what is coming for everyone who dares to oppose this totalitarian form of government.”
The former official may no longer leave the country or hold any public office, while having her assets frozen and being tried for supposedly committing serious offenses.