Venezuela chief prosecutor announces plans to jail protest leaders

Venezuela's chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab talks to the media during a news conference in Caracas Venezuela

Ortega was sacked earlier this month by the Venezuelan government after criticizing the election to a controversial constituent assembly.

South American trade bloc Mercosur condemned the assembly for usurping congress's responsibilities, according to a statement released by Brazil's Foreign Ministry. Washington has said it will consider sanctions against anyone who participates in the constituent assembly.

But Diosdado Cabello, a senior member of Maduro's inner circle, said the decision had stopped short of disbanding congress, and that the Constituent Assembly was simply assuming congressional powers.

Delcy Rodriguez, a Maduro ally and president of the constituent assembly, insisted the move did not imply a dissolution of the congress. The new attorney-general, Tarek William Saab, had announced on the same day that he was going to ask the constituent Assembly to initiate the process to deprive German Ferrer, former chaviste past the opposition, of his parliamentary immunity. She also challenged official versions of protest deaths, saying that state security forces and groups of armed, pro-government civilians were responsible for a large number of the fatalities, many young men in their 20s.

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Since 2015, Yemen has been the site of a devastating war between the Saudi-backed government and Huthi rebels allied with Iran. In addition to Saudi Arabia, the coalition includes Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates.

Since the controversial vote was held, many global observers - including the USA - have censured Maduro's government for what they called a "sham election". Hours later, Ortega said in a post on her Twitter account that secret police were raiding the home they shared in Caracas.

Friday's vote came after the leaders of the National Assembly, the unicameral legislature, refused an invitation to attend the ANC session at the legislative palace, reports Efe news.

The Constituent Assembly was launched August 4 amid fraud accusations and worldwide criticism. Since then, the Surpreme Court, largely loyal to Maduro, ensured that the embattled president's agenda prevailed by curbing congress's powers and overturning nearly all of the National Assembly's legislation.

She re-emerged Friday, via Internet from an undisclosed location, to address a meeting in Mexico of prosecutors from around Latin America.

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Venezuela's deposed chief prosecutor and her husband have fled the country after she was dismissed by a controversial new legislative superbody.

After the decree was passed, opposition lawmaker Omar Avila denounced the decision, stressing that the constituent assembly had not provided any solutions to the problems of everyday people.

Venezuela's new legislative super body took over the functions of the country's only remaining opposition-run institution - the National Assembly - by approving a decree that empowers it to pass laws on a range of issues.

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