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Venezuela politician says backed by rights court
Venezuela opposition politician says human rights court rules he should be able to seek office
By The Associated Press

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) ' An opposition politician said Friday that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has sided with him by ordering Venezuela to lift a decision barring him from running for the presidency.

Leopoldo Lopez announced the decision on his Twitter account, saying "justice was done." His allies celebrated the decision at a news conference, one of them holding up a copy of the ruling.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said authorities would study the court's decision before responding.

Lopez, a former Caracas district mayor, was barred from running for office in 2005 by the country's top anti-corruption official, the comptroller general. He challenged the decision, arguing his rights were violated.

The comptroller general accused Lopez of receiving donations on behalf of an organization he led between 1998 and 2001 from the state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, where his mother worked at the time.

Lopez argued the charges were bogus and said he did nothing wrong. He was among a list of politicians blacklisted due to corruption investigations, but he has not been formally charged with any crime.

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