Venezuela opposition leader jailed

Caracas, Sep 11 (IANS) Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez has been sentenced to more than 13 years in prison, the media reported on Friday.

A court in Caracas found Lopez, 44, guilty late Thursday for his role as the leader of a street protest movement with security forces in February 2014 which turned into bloody clashes, Al Jazeera reported.

Lopez is accused of inciting violence against the government of President Nicolas Maduro and attempting to force his ouster.

The sentence was for 13 years, nine months and seven days.

He will serve out his sentence in the military prison of Ramo Verde, where he has been held since he turned himself in shortly after the protests on on February 18, 2014.

Fighting broke out earlier on Thursday between supporters of Lopez and pro-government demonstrators outside the courthouse.

Last year’s protests erupted due to violent crime, a sinking economy and severe shortages of basic goods. Between February and June 2014, 43 people were killed in protest-related violence.

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