Ex-lawmaker faces questions from prosecutors over alleged plot against Venezuelan president

An opposition leader in Venezuela is facing questions from prosecutors for allegedly taking part in what the government says was a plot to kill President Nicolas Maduro.

Maria Corina Machado obeyed an order to provide testimony at the closed hearing Wednesday. The former member of the National Assembly has repeatedly dismissed the allegations as political persecution.

The government has accused Machado and several other prominent members of the opposition of being involved in what officials have said was a U.S.-backed plot to assassinate the successor to the late Hugo Chavez.

Machado says she has committed no crime. She tells The Associated Press that the accusations are the price of challenging the "dictatorship" led by Maduro.

The accusations come as the country faces increasing economic hardship from falling oil prices.