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Evidence against Venezuelan opposition leader was fabricated, says US

The Venezuelan government fabricated evidence against opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, said a former prosecutor who handled the case against the popular politician.

Ex-prosecutor Franklin Nieves, who fled Venezuela last week, told CNN that “100% of the investigation was invented” around false evidence in a sham prosecution allegedly orchestrated by President Nicolas Maduro and Diosdado Cabello, the head of the National Assembly.

Lopez was sentenced last month to nearly 14 years in prison and immediately took to social media to say, “This sentence is not only against me, but it attempts to bring down the spirits of everyone who is fighting to have a better country,” according to his verified Twitter account.

Jailed since February 2014, Lopez had rallied opposition against what he considered heavy-handed rule by Venezuelan presidents.

Nieves said in an interview that he received orders from government officials to arrest Lopez two days before a 2014 opposition march.

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