17. On September 10, 2012 the Secretariat, following instructions of the President, asked the State to clarify relevant points regarding the page numbers of file No. 24-F20817-2003 of the 20th Prosecutor’s Office of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Judicial District of Zulia (hereinafter “20th Prosecutor’s Office”) No. 24-F20-817-03, which was filed with the answer brief and final written arguments. Also, given that the representatives argued that they had not been provided with Case File No. C – 585, which had been processed by the 83rd Prosecutor’s Office of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Judicial District of the Metropolitan Area of Caracas (hereinafter “83rd Prosecutor’s Office”), it requested that it expressly indicate whether it had submitted to the Court a copy of all of the proceedings and case files related to the investigation of the facts of the case, either in connection with the aforementioned Prosecutors´ offices as well as any other agency that may have been involved. If this were not the case, the Court asked the State to provide it with a copy of the missing files, pursuant to Article 58 of the Rules of Procedure, and granted the State an extension of the period, which expired on October 1, 2012. 18. On September 13, 2012 the State requested an extension until the October 15, 2012 to present the foregoing files. On September 14, 2012 the Secretariat, following the instructions of the President, granted the requested extension. On October 10, 2012 the State forwarded the clarification and a certified copy of Case File No. C-585 processed before the 83rd Prosecutor’s Office. On October 11, 2012, upon the instructions of the President, the Secretariat granted a period for the representatives and Commission to file observations, if deemed relevant, to the documents provided by the State. On October 23, 2012 the representatives filed their observations. The Commission did not present any observations in this regard. III JURISDICTION 19. Venezuela has been a State Party to the American Convention since August 9, 1977, and acknowledged the Court’s contentious jurisdiction on June 24, 1981. Its jurisdiction in this case has not been contested. IV EVIDENCE 20. Based on the relevant regulatory provisions8 and on its consistent case law9, the Court shall examine and assess the documentary evidence submitted by the parties, including statements and expert reports, adhering to the principle of sound judgment and taking into account the body of evidence as a whole and the arguments in the case. 21. As to the newspaper articles submitted by the parties and the Commission along with their respective briefs, the Court has considered that these may be assessed insofar as they refer to well-known public facts or to statements made by State officials or when they 8 Articles 46, 47, 48, 50, 51, 57 and 58 of the Rules of Procedure. 9 Cf. Case of the “White Van” (Paniagua Morales et al.) v. Guatemala. Reparations and Costs. Judgment of May 25, 2001. Series C No. 76, para. 51, and Case of Uzcátegui et al. v. Venezuela. Merits and Reparations. Judgment of September 3, 2012. Series C No. 249, para. 23. 6

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