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US citizen held in Venezuela for spying as post-election dispute continues

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US citizen held in Venezuela for spying as post-election dispute continues


The fallout from the Venezuelan election dispute continues as opposition leader Hernrique Capriles says his movement will boycott an audit of the election result and press the government for a fresh vote. Capriles intends to take his challenge to the Supreme Court.

The April 14 election saw Chavez heir Nicolas Maduro claim the presidency by less than 300,000 votes.

Henrique Capriles used television to address the president: “You stole the election, it is you who must explain this to the nation and the world,” he said.

Authorities in Caracas say they have arrested an American citizen accused of destabilising the country in post-election violence, which has claimed the lives of nine people.

President Nicolas Maduro announced the arrest and warned of more to come: “We have captured an American who was financing violent groups. I have ordered the arrest of this man and we will try him. I have ordered the interior minister to arrest anyone seen in the video he filmed and any person involved in fascist violence against Venezuela.”

The arrested man has been identified as Timothy Hallett, he is accused of being a spy and connected to right-wing student groups. He was arrested at Caracas airport and police say they discovered incriminating photos and video in his apartment.

The family of the detained say he is innocent and was in Venezuela filming a documentary.

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