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COVID-19-- Former Venezuelan minister hanged after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit crime in Venezuela

COVID-19-- Former Venezuelan minister hanged after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit crime in Venezuela

Raul Baduel, former Venezuelan Defense Minister and retired general, considered a political prisoner by the opposition, has died of coronavirus, the attorney general announced on Tuesday.

Baduel was arrested in 2009 on corruption charges after falling out with the Socialist Party, eventually placed on house arrest and then re-jailed in 2017 for allegedly conspiring against Maduro.

Raul Isaias Baduel died of cardiac-respiratory failure, the result of COVID-19, though he had received the appropriate medical treatment and had gotten his first dose of the vaccine, attorney general Tarek Saab said in a Twitter post.

Baduel was hospitalized or in prison when he died, according to Saab, but it wasn't disclosed if. He had been held at a Sebin intelligence police site.

Human rights groups blamed the government for his death, saying that he died of an apparent heart attack.

"With the death of Raul Isaias Baduel, there are ten political prisoners who have died in custody," activist Gonzalo Himiob said on Twitter. "The state has the responsibility for the safety and well-being of any prisoner."

Baduel's daughter told Reuters last year that he had not yet been tried on the second round of accusations against him and that his lawyers had been unable to access his case file.

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