On May 29, Venezuela’s Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) asked the National Constituent Assembly to revoke the immunity from prosecution of opposition deputy Rafael Guzmán, accused of instigating the April 30 and May 1 uprisings. That takes the tally of indicted Congressmen to 15. Who sits on the Supreme Court of Justice?
Attorney General Tarek Saab accused Guzmán of “treason, conspiracy, instigation to insurrection, civil rebellion, conspiracy to commit a crime, usurpation of functions and public instigation to disobedience of laws and hatred”. The Supreme Court also decided to avoid the merit trial provided for in Article 200 of the Constitution by stating that it does not apply “because it [Guzman’s case] involves the flagrant perpetration of common crimes”. This decision is in line with the Court’s dealings with previous cases. What does the Constitution of Venezuela establish about the immunity of national legislators?
Between May 2-14, the SCJ had requested the removal of the immunities from prosecution of 14 other deputies: Edgar Zambrano (May 2), Luis Barreto, Henry Ramos Allup, Richardo Blanco Delgado, Marianela Magallanes López, José Calzadilla Peraza y Américo de Grazia (May 7), Freddy Superlano Salinas, Sergio Vergara González and Juan Mejía Szilard (May 8), Carlos Paparoni, Miguel Pizarro Rodríguez, Franco Casella Lovaton and Winston Flores Gómez (May 14).