While Ortega had initially fled Venezuela following the issuing of an arrest warrant in 2003, the BBC reports that he had returned to Venuzuela from Costa Rica last August. Mr Ortega was arrested in March 2005.
Supporters of Mr Ortega have claimed the verdict is 'politically motivated' according to BBC reports, with an appeal being planned.
Mr Ortega's opposition to current Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is well known. He supported the military coup against Chavez in April 2002. Chavez himself attempted (and failed) to carry out a military coup in 1992. Since then, Chavez was democratically elected president in 1998, 2000, and survived a recall referendum against him in 2004, and the constitutional reform referendum which he supported was supported by over 70% of the population in 1999.
See Wikinews: http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Opposition_leader_jailed_in_Venezuela
Wikipedia on Carlos Ortega: