Venezuelan prosecutors have brought charges of influence peddling against a prominent opponent of President Hugo Chavez.

Prosecutors claim Leopoldo Lopez accepted donations from Venezuela's state-run oil company in 1998. The donations were purportedly authorized by the politician's mother when she was working for Petroleos de Venezuela SA.

Lopez allegedly used the donations to form an organization that later became one of Venezuela's most popular political parties.

The Prosecutor's Office charged Lopez on Thursday.

Lopez denies any wrongdoing

His mother is also expected to be arraigned on criminal charges.