The two former US military personnel Luke Denmnan and Airan Berry, who participated in a failed invasion attempt to Venezuela together with fifty citizens of the Caribbean country, they were sentenced to 20 years in prison, reported this Friday the attorney general, Tarek William Saab.
(You may be interested in: Who are those involved in the alleged incursion into Venezuela?)
“They admitted to having committed crimes of conspiracy, association, illicit trafficking in weapons of war and terrorism, typified in the Penal Code, for which they were sentenced to a prison sentence of 20 years, “Saab wrote on his Twitter account.
1) #NOW list the 1st preliminary hearing GEDEÓN CASE (Silvercorp mercenaries) the citizens Luke Denman and Airan Berry were accused by prosecutors of the cause for serious #crimes .. #TODAY THEN D PREVIOUS HEARING D DELATION: THEY ADMITTED THEIR RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FACTS pic.twitter.com/ntbpqY7Nz9
– Tarek William Saab (@TarekWiliamSaab) August 8, 2020
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Denman and Berry, employees of the American military contractor Silvercorp, were arrested in the second attempted incursion of an attack on the Venezuelan coast in which at least eight people died and fifty more were arrested.
As detailed by the Venezuelan prosecutor, the decision was made at the first preliminary hearing in which the two former US green berets “They were accused by prosecutors of the case for serious crimes. After the previous hearing, they admitted their responsibility in the facts.”
The Venezuelan Justice had already issued preventive detention for 40 people last May for their connection with the failed maritime attack that, according to the Government, was aimed at killing the president Nicolás Maduro.
40 more people in preventive detention
One of those who was then in prison preventive is Captain Antonio Sequeda, former member of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB, militarized police), accused of the crimes of intentional homicide in a degree of frustration against Maduro, treason, illicit trafficking in weapons of war, terrorism and criminal association.
Another participant, Josnars Adolfo Baduel, son of the general, former commander of the Army and former Defense Minister Raúl Isaías Baduel, was also sent to preventive prison, accused of the crimes of terrorism, association to commit a crime and treason.
General Baduel was an ally of Hugo Chavez and he is considered the architect of his return to the Presidency after the coup that overthrew him for 48 hours in April 2002. In 2009 he was sent to prison after being accused of corruption.
Berry, 41, served as an engineering sergeant in the Special Forces de EE. UU. between 1996 and 2013; time in which it was deployed in Iraq three times, according to the US specialized press.
For his part, Denman, 34, He assured in a judicial statement that he had orders to take control of an airport near Caracas to send Maduro to the US, where he is claimed for various crimes related to drug trafficking.
The company for which they had identification, Silvercorp, signed a contract with strategist Juan José Rendón, when he was still an advisor to the opponent Juan Guaidó, for those attacks. However, Rendón explained that he finally did not give them a “green light” and that Guaidó did not sign it.