Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2010-07-08-Speech-4-418"

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"− Madam President, in the case of Maria Lourdes Afiuni in Venezuela, is the issue one of combating corruption, which is the official version, or of persecuting a political opponent, which is the version reported by its correspondent, Simon Romero? The question certainly deserves to be asked, as both combinations are common in hardline regimes. However, my group has withdrawn its signature from the compromise and is ready to submit a resolution on its own. I think you wanted to overdo it, ladies and gentlemen, and I do not want to use this case, which I feel must be clarified, to criticise the entire Venezuelan regime, which is what you are seeking to do. What is the issue at stake here? Using an exceptional procedure, Judge Afiuni granted the release of a banker accused of stealing USD 27 million from a state agency through the use of a false import contract. She was arrested following this release and placed in detention. It is true that her detention conditions are absolutely terrible, like those in all Venezuelan prisons. However, we are not holding an urgent debate on prisons here. Therefore, this still does not make the judge a human rights activist – she has never expressed herself on this point. Like you, I call for a fair and quick trial with all the associated guarantees of defence, the continuation of the fight against the corruption that exists within the judicial apparatus, and the strict separation of politics from the judiciary. I agree with you on that, but I cannot agree with you on the rest."@en1

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