Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López has been found guilty of inciting violence for his role as leader of a sometimes bloody protest movement in 2014, and was sentenced to almost 14 years in prison.
Late Thursday’s verdict was confirmed in an official tweet by López’s Popular Will party. Venezuela’s highest-profile opposition leader says he only ever promoted peaceful protest against the socialist government.
Supporters say the trial was marked with irregularities from the start.
In May, López managed to call the largest rally Venezuela has seen since the 2014 protests through a video leaked from his cell. And in June, he staged a 30-day hunger strike to demand the government schedule congressional elections.
U.S. officials have made his release a key demand for normalizing diplomatic relations.