Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with ministers at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 13, 2018.
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with ministers at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 13, 2018.

A panel of self-exiled Venezuelan judges holding a symbolic trial in Colombia has found President Nicolas Maduro guilty of corruption and sentenced him to more than 18 years in prison.

Ousted Venezuelan chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega accused Maduro of accepting $35 million from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht to finance his 2013 campaign in exchange for a leg-up on public works contracts.

Over two dozen jurists who fled Venezuela after Maduro's socialist administration refused to recognize their appointment to the Supreme Court by the opposition-controlled National Assembly found him guilty Wednesday of corruption and money laundering.

Maduro was ordered held for 18 years and three months at the Ramo Verde prison outside Caracas where opposition leaders have been jailed.

Ortega asked for the strongest sentence "in the name of all Venezuelans."

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