Venezuela’s new chief prosecutor, President Nicolas Maduro’s former human rights ombudsman Tarek Saab, has outlined corruption accusations against his predecessor Luisa Ortega Diaz her husband.
The pair and other members of Ortega’s former staff of lawyers are accused of running a so-called “extortion gang” and funnelling funds to an offshore bank account in the Bahamas.
Ortega said on Twitter that the Venezuelan intelligence service had raided her house “as part of the government’s revenge for her fight against totalitarianism”.
She wrote: “Maduro’s government is trying to put an end to our struggle for democracy and freedom.”
The case will be investigated by the country’s newly created truth commission, a panel many have compared to a Kangaroo court which is also looking into opposition candidates who are believed to have been involved in this year’s violent political protests.
Many have accused Maduro of trying to sideline the opposition in order to bolster his party’s flagging support.
Another concern is a bill that would sentence those who express “hate or intolerance” with up to 25 years in jail, a move the opposition fears will be use to silence critics of Maduro’s government.