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Venezuela rejects ICC prosecutor's decision to resume human rights investigation

CARACAS : Venezuela's government rejected on Saturday a decision by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to resume an investigation into alleged human rights violations by the South American country's officials.

On Tuesday, ICC Prosecutor Karim Kham applied for authorization to continue the investigation after he had received "a significant amount of information provided by Venezuela to date, as well as other credible sources".

But the Venezuelan government pushed back.

In a statement, it called Kham's vision "prejudiced" and vowed "to defend the truth and demonstrate the productive work of the authorities in the investigation of all the complaints of serious crimes against people" in the pre-trial chamber.

"It is especially worrying that the ICC prosecutor's request is basically based on secondary sources lacking any credibility," the government said in a statement published on the foreign ministry's official Twitter account.

It also accused the investigation of "marked bias and clear politicization, to the detriment of the rigor expected from an international instance."

The ICC had started a preliminary investigation in 2018; Khan said in March that he would open an office in the Venezuelan capital Caracas.

(Reporting by Mayela Armas; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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