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Individual accused of being behind journalist's murder to face new trial

(IPYS/IFEX) - José Ceferino García Fermín, who is accused of having orchestrated the September 2004 murder of journalist Mauro Marcano, will have to face a new trial.

García Fermín was released in 2008 after being tried for the same case. On 9 November 2009, the Monagas State Appeals Court, in eastern Venezuela, annulled the previous sentence, calling for a new trial to be held in a different court than the one which decided to release the accused.

Marcano hosted a programme on Radio Maturín and wrote a column for "El Oriental" newspaper. In one of his columns, he had accused García Fermín of being the leader of the "Cartel del Sol", a group of drug traffickers active in the region.

García Fermín was detained in 2006 in Trinidad and Tobago and jailed until 2008, when the Monagas 5th Tribunal acquitted him, despite the evidence against him. This decision was appealed by the District Attorney's office.

Before his murder, Marcano had received threats and was warned to stop reporting on the "Cartel del Sol". The journalist was shot to death by two men outside his home.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of García Fermín who is currently at large.

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