A Venezuelan prosecutor who tried opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez has fled Caracas, claiming in a newly released video that the government of Nicolas Maduro pressured him into presenting false evidence against Lopez at trial.
The prosecutor, Franklin Nieves, posted a video denouncing the Maduro government, adding that he left the country because of heavy political pressure.
"I decided to leave Venezuela with my family as a result of the pressure being exerted by the executive branch and my superiors to continue defending the false evidence that condemned the citizen Leopoldo Lopez," said Nieves in Spanish, on a video posted on YouTube by news portal La Patilla. Nieves' remarks were translated by CNBC.
"I couldn't sleep with the pain and pressure I felt of continuing with a farce that was violating Lopez's rights," he added.
CNBC was not able to immediately verify the authenticity of the video, or contact Nieves directly.
Nieves helped bring charges against Lopez, who was recently sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison. The opposition leader was convicted of conspiracy and of inciting violent protests against the government, which has been under pressure from an imploding economy and widespread civil unrest.
"I invite you to tell the truth, like I am in this moment," Nieves said in the video.
"I want to do the right thing and tell the truth. I want you to be brave, raise your voices and express your discontent with the pressure exerted by our superiors, who threaten us to fire us or putting us in jail, and that series of absurd arguments that they always use to threaten us to carry out their whims," Nieves said, appearing to address his fellow prosecutors and judges in Venezuela.
Last year, Lopez and other opposition leaders called for peaceful demonstrations against Maduro's and the Venezuelan government.