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Venezuelan Opposition Leader Seeks Asylum in Peru

A Peruvian attorney representing Venezuelan opposition leader Manuel Rosales said his client has formally applied for political asylum in Peru.

The attorney, Javier Valle Riestra, made the announcement Tuesday, hours after Peru's foreign minister, Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde, confirmed that Rosales had arrived on a tourist visa. As a tourist, Rosales can stay up to six months.

Rosales was supposed to have appeared in a Venezuelan court Monday to face corruption charges. He went into hiding after Venezuelan prosecutors accused him of illegal enrichment between 2002 and 2004, when he was governor of the state of Zulia. Rosales maintains his innocence, saying the accusations are politically motivated.

Authorities said the charges are based on an investigation of Rosales' assets. They said he has not explained the origin of certain funds he has received. Rosales unsuccessfully ran against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in elections in 2006.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.