Washinton, Feb 13: The US Court for the District of Colombia has selected a jury in the case of the so-called protectors of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, court documents revealed.
“Jury Selection began and concluded, 12 jurors and 2 alternates selected and sworn,” the notice published in the federal court database said on Wednesday evening. On May 16 2018, the US Secret Service and State Department police arrested Margaret Flowers, Keven Zeese, Adrienne Pine and David Paul after raiding the Venezuelan embassy in Washington.
The authorities acted to seize the diplomatic facility and hand it over to representatives of the country’s opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido. The authorities demanded that anyone not associated with the Guaido government leave the premises and the protectors did not.
The protectors began residing in the embassy as guests of the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro shortly after the US government requested the Venezuelan diplomats to leave the United States.
The US government does not recognize the Maduro government and has engaged in actions to force a “regime change” in Venezuela.
The trial against the embassy protectors may last several days. If found guilty, the four defendants can receive a sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine of 100,000 dollar each. Maduro has said Guaido is a US puppet and accused the United States of using him to conduct a coup in Venezuela in order to control the country’s vast natural resources. SPUTNIK