Venezuela’s former defence minister arrestedApril 3rd, 2009 - 12:27 pm ICT by IANS
Caracas, April 3 (EFE) Venezuela’s former defence minister - once a close ally of President Hugo Chavez - has been arrested by the military intelligence unit (DIM), one of his sons told Globovision television.
General Raul Isaias Baduel was driving with his wife near his home Thursday when his vehicle “was blocked off by DIM officials, pointing firearms at them and threatening them not to make any telephone calls. Then they shoved them into a (military) vehicle,” the younger Baduel said.
Military prosecutors recently accused Baduel of alleged administrative irregularities during his tenure at the head of the defence ministry, a post he left in 2007 after differences with Chavez.
Omar Mora, one of Baduel’s lawyers, also said that he did not understand the reason for “this … spectacular and absurd detention,” when his client “has complied with all the judicial procedures that have demanded his presence”.
“We fear for his life,” added Mora, noting that “earlier the report came to us that there could be an attempt on his life under the guise of an alleged act (by him) of rebelliousness at the moment of his arrest.”
“I hope that they’re not thinking about anything of that kind,” he said, adding that Baduel was due at the prosecutor’s office Friday and his detention was “completely irregular and illegal”.
Tags: ally, caracas, defence minister, defence ministry, efe, firearms, guise, hugo chavez, intelligence unit, irregularities, isaias, judicial procedures, military intelligence, military vehicle, omar mora, president hugo chavez, prosecutor, prosecutors, raul isaias baduel, rebelliousness