US marine claims he was electrocuted and threatened with rape in Venezuela

A US marine was reportedly stripped, electrocuted and threatened with rape while being tortured by authorities in Venezuela, a court has heard.

Matthew Heath was arrested and charged in an alleged terrorist plot to tamper with oil refineries and electrical service to spark unrest in the socialist country.

Heath told the court that he was forced to strip naked and was locked in a dark room just hours after his arrest on September 10, 2020.

The 40-year-old said he was tied to wire mesh that was connected to a car battery and shocked twice by Venezuela's counter intelligence.

On Monday, the court heard that the former marine was transferred to a clandestine torture center in the Venezuelan capital Caracas where an inmate was ordered to rape him.

It was reported that the inmate refused which resulted in an officer threatening to rape the marine with a safety baton instead.

Heath revealed the frightening ordeal on the stand after identifying one of the alledged perpetrators, Reynaldo Hernández, an agent of the Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM).

He also told the court that Hernández's supervisor Major Marlon Salas Rivas was present during the torture, reports Daily Mail.

Heath's lawyer Guillermo Heredia said Heath is the victim of a fabricated case as he cited discrepancies in the initial arrest documents and the ones displayed in court.

His family have claimed he was arrested by mistake while visiting pals on a Caribbean island 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela.

Tamara Suju, a member of his legal team, told the Miami Herald: "He was doused with cold water and strapped to a wire mesh connected with cables to a car battery.

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"He was interrogated with electric shocks and blows all throughout that night."

Suju went on to say that the agents did not find incriminating evidence on his satellite phone when he gave officers the codes to access it.

Four months prior to his arrest, a botched coup attempt took place in the country and was organised by a company named Silvercorp USA.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government believes Heath was involved in the coup and accused him of being a spy.

When he was arrested along with three Venezuelans, authorities claimed they found pictures of targets on his phone and released images of a grenade launcher, plastic explosives, and a bag of US dollars.

However, many believe the evidence was planted with, including Heath's lawyer.

The bombshell testimony has forced the court's magistrate to extend the hearing by two days. It is thought that Heath is being held in Fuerte Tiuna prison in Caracas, known as the "House of Dreams".

"All they are doing here is to compile a criminal file based on false evidence and fake procedures to accuse an American citizen," Suju added.

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