Colombia has rejected asylum requests by former Venezuelan military officers accused of plotting a 2002 coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

A Colombian government official said Tuesday the requests for refugee status had been denied but also said the decisions are being appealed.

Venezuelan former Admiral Hector Ramirez told Colombian television Tuesday that he and at least seven other former top officers face persecution if they go back to Venezuela. The group has been in Colombia since late last year.

Mr. Ramirez was named defense minister during the two-day long coup which temporarily deposed President Chavez.

Venezuelan business leader Pedro Carmona, who served as president during the coup, has been granted asylum by Colombia.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.