United Nations calls for probe into death of Venezuela opposition member

Mourners of the municipal lawmaker Fernando Alban react outside the headquarters of Bolivarian National Intelligence Service in Caracas Venezuela

Venezuela's Attorney General William Saab told state television VTV that Alban threw himself from a tenth-floor window on Monday at the headquarters of the intelligence service, where he had been in pre-trial detention.

Maduro was unharmed but several members of the military sustained injuries.

The councilman would appear later in the day before the courts for alleged involvement in the failed assassination attempt against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in August.

Staff members of jailed councilman Fernando Alberto Alban Salazar embrace outside the Bolivarian National Security Service (SEBIN) headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018.

First Justice said Alban's arrest was owing to statements he made at the U.N. General Assembly last month in NY denouncing humans rights violations in Venezuela.

The official claim is drawing a swift denial from Venezuelan opposition leaders close to Alberto Alban Salazar.

Fernando Alban was arrested Friday at Caracas' global airport upon arrival from a trip to NY to galvanize world opinion against President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government.

In brief comments on state TV he said Alban was in the waiting room of the Caracas headquarters of Venezuela's intelligence police waiting to be transferred to a courthouse when he asked to use the bathroom.

Opposition leader Julio Borges said Alban was a personal friend and that as a family man and devout Catholic he would never kill himself.

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He said that Mr Albán had been investigated for "destabilising activities directed from abroad".

The chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Corker, called on Maduro to explain the reasons for Alban's death.

The opposition and rights groups have said Maduro's administration is holding hundreds of political prisoners on trumped-up charges meant to stifle dissent.

Alban, a city council member from Caracas, was among at least 15 people arrested and charged for alleged participation in the August 4 incident.

The government denies the detainees are political prisoners and says they were fairly jailed.

"The government has a responsibility to ensure all understand how that could have happened", he said in a message posted on Twitter.

"Direct responsibility of a regime that tortures and murders".

The Organization of American States (OAS) condemned Alban's death. "This criminal dictatorship must go now from Venezuela", OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro wrote on Twitter.

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