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Disciplinary proceedings initiated against four judges for mishandling trial that absolved suspected masterminds of journalist's murder

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 17 December 2007, the judiciary's own disciplinary body (Oficina de Control de la Magistratura, OCMA) emitted a preliminary report stating that the Superior Court of Ucayali judges in charge of the trial for the 2004 murder of journalist Alberto Rivera Fernández, dragged out the trial and did not act in a diligent manner to ensure that it would take place within a reasonable period of time.

The trial began on 15 March and concluded on 14 November with a verdict acquitting the mayor of Coronel Portillo, Luis Valdez Villacorta, and his former municipal administrator, Solio Ramírez Garay, of masterminding the journalist's murder.

The OCMA has opened a disciplinary process against four of the court's magistrates, who will have to explain their conduct before this judicial district's First Criminal Bench (Primera Sala Penal).

The judges being disciplined are Miriam Calmet Caynero, who was until three months ago president of the First Criminal Bench, Juana Estela Tejada Segura, who is its current president, Leoncio Felipe Humaní Mendoza and Pablo Ernesto Lévano Véliz. The latter two voted in favour of acquitting the accused.

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