The head of the opposition-controlled Venezuelan Parliament, Julio Borges, on Sunday called the Supreme Court's ruling against the legislative body's first vice president, Freddy Guevara, "absolutely political ... arbitrary ... outside the law," adding that the move seeks to "continue weakening" the chamber.
Borges made his remarks at a press conference to reject the high court (TSJ) ruling to bring Guevara to withdraw his parliamentary immunity from prosecution and bring him to trial.
The court said in a statement on Friday that Guevara must face trial because "he allegedly involved himself in an ongoing way in the crimes of association, continued public incitement and the use of adolescents to commit a crime," without specifying anything further about those charges.
Borges said that the move by the TSJ is "one more attempt" to try and "destroy the Parliament," adding that since the opposition took control of the chamber after the 2015 legislative election, the government has sought to divest it of its functions.
On Saturday night, Guevara took refuge at the Chilean embassy in Venezuela after accusing the Nicolas Maduro-led government of trying to strip him of his parliamentary immunity and prosecute him.
The Chilean embassy said that in keeping with its humanitarian tradition and foreign policy and "decisions taken in similar situations, the government of Chile has granted him (Guevara) the status of a guest" and the Foreign Ministry in Santiago added that it had accorded him that status "in view of what he considers imminent threats to his security and personal integrity."
Following the ruling, the opposition, that controls Venezuela's parliament, on Saturday came out in support of Guevara and accused the government of "political persecution."