Venezuelan Attorney-General Ortega Diaz faces court (on the wrong side)

Venezuelan Attorney-General Ortega Diaz faces court (on the wrong side)

Venezuela’s Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz faces the country’s top court today, which will determine whether to proceed with a

Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

Venezuela’s Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz faces the country’s top court today, which will determine whether to proceed with a formal trial on charges of malpractice and misuse of power.

Ortega, a longtime socialist, angered President Nicholas Maduro after criticising a high court decision to invalidate the opposition-led legislature. After widespread international condemnation, the ruling was reversed shortly after, reportedly under pressure from Ms Ortega.

Despite a travel ban and asset freeze, the attorney general has continued to criticise Mr Maduro for suppressing peaceful protests and “destroying President Chavez’s legacy”, drawing the ire of the embattled president.

Ultimately, the Maduro-leaning Supreme Court could indict Ortega. But under mounting domestic and international pressure, the president must be careful—striking down a long-time and well-known socialist could have dangerous reverberations within his own camp.