Venezuela opposition politician Rosales granted house arrest

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Manuel Rosales in Lima, Peru, 1 Oct 2009Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Manuel Rosales fled to Peru in 2009 was arrested when he returned last year

Key Venezuelan opposition figure and former presidential candidate Manuel Rosales has been released from jail and placed under house arrest.

Mr Rosales was arrested on charges of corruption on his return to the country a year ago after six years of self-imposed exile in Peru.

The Supreme Court announced the decision late on Wednesday.

Mr Rosales's wife called for his unconditional release and his son posted a photo of his father.

In a brief statement, the Supreme Court said: "This less onerous measure will permit the continuation of the legal process through which his possible responsibility for the acts alleged will be verified."

Image caption,
Mr Rosales's wife tweeted about the court order and called for his unconditional release

A number of other opposition leaders, including Leopoldo Lopez, Antonio Ledezma and Daniel Ceballos, are in jail on charges of inciting anti-government violence.

Mr Rosales ran against the late President Hugo Chavez in 2006 but lost.

Mr Rosales fled to Peru in 2009 amid corruption allegations related to his term as governor of Zulia state between 2000 and 2008. He says the allegations are politically motivated.

The US government and the United Nations have called for the release of the opposition politicians.

Venezuela is facing a serious economic crisis, which the opposition blames on failed socialist policies of Mr Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro.

Image caption,
Mr Rosales ran against Hugo Chavez in 2006 but lost