Man who took dozen people hostage in courtroom arrested

March 1st, 2009 - 12:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Caracas, March 1 (IANS) A man suspected of holding 12 people - including a judge - captive in a courtroom in a Venezuelan city was arrested, EFE reported.
The head of the local judicial police force, Pablo Heredia, told state-owned VTV that Friday’s hostage crisis was resolved with the arrest of the suspect and his accomplices. Two handguns and a grenade were seized.

The federal scientific and investigative police force chief, Wilmer Flores, said a trial of two men who were arrested in late 2008 on charges of robbing a shopping centre was being held Friday at a courthouse in Carupano, a city 545 km east of Caracas.

He added that four men armed with handguns and grenades arrived at the building with the intention of rescuing the defendants. One entered the building, while the other three tried to flee after their plot was discovered and following a shootout with courthouse guards.

The gunman who entered the building made his way to the courtroom where the hearing was taking place and took captive the judge, four bailiffs, the defence attorney and some seven other people who were witnessing the proceedings, Flores said.

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