Venezuelan baseball star accused of attempted murder

The Venezuelan baseball star Ugueth Urbina, of the Philadelphia Phillies, has been arrested in his home country on a charge of attempted murder. Mr Urbina and a group of men have been accused of wielding machetes at several employees at his family's ranch.

They are also alleged to have poured petrol on them in an attempt to set them on fire. Mr Urbina, who is one of a dozen of Venezuelans playing baseball in the US, denies any wrongdoing. He was a star pitcher for the 2003 World Series champion Florida Marlins.

Five workers were injured during the incident last month in Ocumare del Tuy, 80km (50 miles) south of the capital, Caracas. Mr Urbina was reportedly celebrating his return to Venezuela after the end of the US baseball season. One of the workers, Argenis Farias, accused him of being among the attackers.

But Mr Urbina's lawyer said that his client was sleeping at the time of the incident. He was detained at his home on the outskirts of Caracas and is due to be formally charged when he appears before a judge. The pitcher's mother was kidnapped in September 2004, and rescued five months later in southern Venezuela, reports BBC news. I.L.

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