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Federal judge grants injunction to man accused of killing American journalist Brad Will

(CENCOS/IFEX) - The following is an abbreviated translation of a 21 January 2009 CENCOS alert:

On 21 January 2009, a federal court judge granted an injunction to Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno, who has been accused of killing American journalist Bradley Roland Will and is currently being held in prison pending trial. The original order to jail Martínez Moreno pending trial was issued by a lower court judge in the state of Oaxaca (southeast Mexico).

The federal court judge, however, failed to resolve the case and instead issued orders for the criminal proceedings to be re-started. In a press conference, the Miguel Augustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Centre's Oaxaca coordinator, Melina Hernández, said the federal court judge "took into consideration the number of irregularities in the case" against Martínez Moreno and, as such, rejected the original lower court decision. Despite the federal court judge's decision, however, Martínez Moreno, a member of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca, APPO) civil society group, will remain in prison while his case is reviewed.

Will, a cameraman for the independent Indymedia news agency, was killed on 27 October 2006 in Santa Lucía del Camino, Oaxaca. On the day he was killed, Will was covering a demonstration by APPO members against the local government. The demonstration turned violent and several people were injured or killed, including Will and three other people. Two other individuals were originally accused of being responsible for Will's murder, but both were released from police custody in November 2006. The National Attorney General's Office (Procuraduría General de la República) subsequently put forward the hypothesis that "Bradley Roland Will was killed by members of APPO."

On 13 October 2008, Martínez Moreno was detained on charges of being responsible for Will's death. On 22 October, a judge gave an order for Martínez Moreno to be kept in detention while awaiting trial. In the entire process, the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission and the results of investigations by international forensics experts have not been taken into consideration.

CENCOS is concerned that the irregularities in the case point to a culture of impunity among Mexican authorities and a lack of seriousness in the investigation into Will's murder. The organisation calls on the authorities to clarify Martínez Moreno's legal situation and the legal irregularities surrounding the case.

Updates the Will case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/97872

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
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