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Originally published Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 5:28 PM

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Venezuela says it deported alleged French agent

Venezuelan authorities said Saturday that they had deported a man they described as a French intelligence agent who was jailed for alleged involvement in a plot to assassinate President Hugo Chavez.

The Associated Press

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CARACAS, Venezuela —

Venezuelan authorities said Saturday that they had deported a man they described as a French intelligence agent who was jailed for alleged involvement in a plot to assassinate President Hugo Chavez.

The minister of prisons, Iris Varela, announced the expulsion of Frederic Laurent Bouquet in a Twitter message Saturday.

Varela said Bouquet was arrested on June 18, 2009, and confessed that he came to Venezuela to assassinate Chavez. She said he was caught with weapons.

She offered no other details on the case. It was unclear if the man was ever formally charged.

Varela did not say where Bouquet was being sent. She said only that he was being deported under a law that allows the government to expel anyone who threatens Venezuela's security.

A photo that accompanied Varela's tweet showed a handcuffed man wearing a bullet-proof vest and being escorted by police.

Officials at the ministry of prisons did not return phone calls asking for further comment on the announcement.

Nobody answered the phone at the French Embassy in Caracas.

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