A Venezuelan councilman accused of planning the failed assassination attempt on President Nicolas Maduro has died while in detention. The government claims he committed suicide; the opposition insists he was killed.
The regime said Alban, who was jailed last Friday, had committed suicide by jumping from the 10th floor of the state intelligence agency headquarters (SEBIN) where he was incarcerated.
“At the moment he was going to be transported to court, while he was in the SEBIN waiting room, he jumped from the window of the building and fell, causing his death,” Venezuelan Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said in a post on Twitter.
Reverol’s account, however, differed from that offered by Venezuela’s Chief Prosecutor Tarek William Saab, who said in a televised interview that Alban had asked to use a bathroom and subsequently jumped from the window.
The Venezuelan opposition, the Justice First party, of which Alban was a member, insisted that the councilman was killed and that the regime of President Nicolas Maduro was responsible.
“With great pain and thirst for justice we tell the people of Venezuela … that Councilman Fernando Alban was murdered at the hands of the regime of Nicolas Maduro,” the opposition said.
According to the opposition party’s coordinator Julio Borges, Alban’s lifeless body was then thrown from the SEBIN’s headquarters, located on Caracas’ Plaza Venezuela. Borges added that Alban was a devout Catholic and family man who would never consider killing himself.
The Organization of American States (OAS), a group of Western hemisphere countries, has condemned Alban’s death. “Direct responsibility of a regime that tortures and murders. This criminal dictatorship must go now from Venezuela,” OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro wrote on Twitter.