May 10, 2019 / 7:45 AM / 6 months ago

Italy confirms Venezuelan opposition lawmaker is in its Caracas embassy

Americo De Grazia (L), deputy of Venezuelan coalition of opposition parties (MUD), talks to the media next to his fellow deputy Andres Velasquez, during a news conference in Caracas March 7, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

ROME (Reuters) - Italy confirmed on Friday that Venezuelan opposition lawmaker Americo De Grazia has entered the Italian embassy in Caracas after a pro-government legislative body stripped him of parliamentary immunity.

“A member of the Venezuelan National Assembly of Italian origin Americo De Grazia, one of the seven legitimately elected persons in the National Assembly, was received in the residence of the Italian Ambassador in Caracas,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry added that a judicial proceeding had been initiated against De Grazia.

“The Embassy operates in full compliance with diplomatic conventions,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

De Grazia thanked Italy on Twitter, though he did not say he had taken refuge in the embassy.

Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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