CARACAS, Venezuela - A judge handling one of Venezuela's most politically charged cases said Monday that she was fired after complaining about pressure to rule against an opponent of President Hugo Chavez.
Alicia Torres said she received notification from the Supreme Court that her appointment as a judge had been revoked. She did not provide details, but she called her removal illegal and vowed to challenge the move.
Representatives of the government and the Supreme Court could not be reached for comment.
Torres said last week she was pressured by a superior to prohibit Guillermo Zuloaga, president and owner of the Globovision TV channel, from leaving the country.
Prosecutors have accused Zuloaga of usury and conspiracy to commit a crime - accusations stemming from the recent seizure of 24 new vehicles on his property.
Zuloaga denies any wrongdoing, saying the accusations are politically motivated. He and other government adversaries claim that Chavez is using prosecutors and judges to bring trumped-up charges against prominent opponents.
Globovision is the only strongly anti-Chavez channel remaining on the open airwaves.