JAILED Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez went on trial on Wednesday, accused of masterminding anti-government protests that left 43 people dead.
A Caracas court heard accusations against him of inciting crime and being the intellectual author of damages and arson.
Days after the demonstrations began in mid-February, Mr Lopez turned himself in to authorities and has been in a military jail since.
Nearly 900 people were injured in the worst explosion of violence for a decade, as reactionaries opposed to President Nicolas Maduro challenged government supporters.
Asked to comment about the trial, Mr Maduro lambasted Mr Lopez.
“The leader of the ultra-right is responsible for crimes, violence, destruction and the loss of human lives,” he said.
“He has to pay and he’s going to pay. Justice must be done.
“And to the Bolivarian people I say stand firm against fascists.”