Crime & Justice

Venezuelan soldier sentenced to 23 years for killing demonstrator

Caracas, Oct 22 (EFE).- Venezuela’s Sergeant Arli Mendez Teran was sentenced Friday to 23 years in prison for killing young David Vallenilla during the 2017 protests, an incident that most impacted the demonstrations, Attorney General Tarek William Saab said.

“Sergeant Arli Mendez Teran, at the request of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, is sentenced by the Trial Court 15 for the death of David Vallenilla. The sentence will be 23 years in prison for the crimes of homicide and the misuse of assigned weapons,” Saab wrote in his Twitter account.

In September, Justice Kenya Carrillo had acquitted the sergeant of the Bolivarian Military Aviation, leading to much controversy which prompted the Attorney General’s Office to appeal the decision and open a criminal investigation.

Saab said that, for the conviction, the Public Prosecutor’s Office presented more than 30 pieces of evidence from prosecutors and experts in compliance with the constitution and existing laws.

Vallenilla’s case also forms a part of the investigations of the Venezuelan State at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.

The young protester died in July 2017, when the soldier shot him at point-blank range during a demonstration in front of an air base in Caracas.

Attorney Maria Alejandra Poleo, who was involved in the trial, explained to EFE that after the first acquittal, the case found mention in the report of the UN Fact-Finding Commission on Venezuela. EFE


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