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Venezuelan police chief freed from jail after opposition protests, will serve sentence at home

  • Appearing before journalists, Ivan Simonovis, former Caracas police chief, left, kisses his daughter Ivana, center, as his wife Bony smiles, while standing on the balcony of their home in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. Simonovis whose decade-long imprisonment had rallied Venezuela’s opposition has been released from jail on humanitarian grounds to continue serving a 30-year sentence at home. Simonovis had been jailed since 2004 in connection with the death of pro-government protesters who had rushed to the defense of then-President Hugo Chavez during a failed coup attempt two years earlier. In 2009, he was convicted of aggravated murder. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

    Appearing before journalists, Ivan Simonovis, former Caracas police chief, left, kisses his daughter Ivana, center, as his wife Bony smiles, while standing on the balcony of their home in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. Simonovis whose decade-long imprisonment had rallied Venezuela’s opposition has been released from jail on humanitarian grounds to continue serving a 30-year sentence at home. Simonovis had been jailed since 2004 in connection with the death of pro-government protesters who had rushed to the defense of then-President Hugo Chavez during a failed coup attempt two years earlier. In 2009, he was convicted of aggravated murder. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ivan Simonovis, former Caracas police chief, left, waves to the media from the balcony of his home, accompanied by his daughter Ivana, center, and wife Bony, in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. Simonovis whose decade-long imprisonment had rallied Venezuela’s opposition has been released from jail on humanitarian grounds to continue serving a 30-year sentence at home. Simonovis had been jailed since 2004 in connection with the death of pro-government protesters who had rushed to the defense of then-President Hugo Chavez during a failed coup attempt two years earlier. In 2009, he was convicted of aggravated murder. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

    Ivan Simonovis, former Caracas police chief, left, waves to the media from the balcony of his home, accompanied by his daughter Ivana, center, and wife Bony, in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. Simonovis whose decade-long imprisonment had rallied Venezuela’s opposition has been released from jail on humanitarian grounds to continue serving a 30-year sentence at home. Simonovis had been jailed since 2004 in connection with the death of pro-government protesters who had rushed to the defense of then-President Hugo Chavez during a failed coup attempt two years earlier. In 2009, he was convicted of aggravated murder. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)  (The Associated Press)

A police chief whose decade-long imprisonment was taken up by Venezuela's opposition has been freed from jail.

Ivan Simonovis was sentenced to jail for 30 years for aggravated murder for his role in the death of a pro-government protester who rushed to the defense of then-President Hugo Chavez, when the opposition attempted a coup in 2002.

Bony Simonovis said before dawn Saturday on Twitter that her husband was at home where he'll serve out the rest of his sentence.

In May Simonovis underwent a hunger strike to protest Venezuelan courts' refusal to grant him release on humanitarian ground because he was ill.

At the opposition's urging President Nicolas Maduro formed a medical commission to study the case but repeatedly rejected an amnesty, instead accusing Simonovis of crimes against humanity.