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Venezuela deports French man over alleged Chavez plot

By Marilia Brocchetto, CNN
December 30, 2012 -- Updated 0612 GMT (1412 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Officials say Bouquet confessed to the plot
  • They also allege he is a French intelligence agent
  • He was sentenced to 4 years in jail

(CNN) -- A French man jailed for an alleged plot to kill Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2009 was deported to France on Saturday, a Venezuelan official said.

Frederic Laurent Bouquet's expulsion was announced via a tweet by Iris Varela, the minister for the prison system.

"Frederic Laurent Bouquet was sentenced to four years (in Venezuelan jail), after confessing to plotting against Chavez. He had an arsenal in his possession" Varela tweeted.

According to Venezuelan state-run National Radio and the state-run Venezuelan TV station, Bouquet was arrested in 2009 with three men from the Dominican Republic. He had multiple guns as well as explosives and other military gear with him, according to reports.

"This arrest is a serious blow to terrorism and to those groups that seek to drag into Venezuela scenes of blood and confrontation," Tarek El Aissami, then-interior minister, told reporters at the time.

El Aissami at the time said Bouquet had military experience and had spent some time in Israel. He also said Bouquet was presumed to be a French intelligence agent.

In her tweet, Varela said Bouquet's deportation complies with a Venezuelan law that allows the government to expel anyone who jeopardizes the security and defense of the nation.

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