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AP Exclusive: Imprisoned supercop's escape from Venezuela

By The News · 28 of June 2019 12:38:29
AP Photo, Ivan Simonovis, Bony Pertinez, Ivana Simonis, No available, FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2014 file photo, Ivan Simonovis, former Caracas police chief, waves to the media from the balcony of his home, accompanied by his daughter Ivana, center, and wife Bony, in Caracas, Venezuela, after he was released from jail on humanitarian grounds to continue serving a 30-year sentence at home. Simonovis had been jailed since 2004 in connection with the death of pro-government protesters who had rushed to the defense of then-President Hugo Chavez during a failed coup attempt two years earlier. In 2009, he was convicted of aggravated murder. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Venezuelan political fugitive Iván Simonovis was five weeks on the run after taking the daring step to abandon house arrest and his homeland.

In his first interview since resurfacing in Washington the former SWAT cop recounts details of his movie-like escape that included rappelling down a 25-meter wall in the dead of night and being cast adrift on the open sea.

Simonovis was arrested in 2004 and sentenced to 30 years in prison on trumped-up charges of ordering police to fire on pro-government demonstrators during a coup against then President Hugo Chavez.

His detention became an opposition rallying cry.

Now in exile, he wants to work with U.S. law enforcement to bring his former jailers to justice.