Sign up for weekly updates

Judge determines that journalist is to remain in custody pending trial

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 8 December 2009, a Caracas judge, Lenín Fernández Duarte, ruled that journalist Leocenis García is to remain in custody pending trial on charges that include illegally carrying a weapon and damage to private property.

Since 3 May 2008, the journalist, who was the editor of the "Sexto Poder" magazine and a columnist for the "Reporte Diario de la Economía" newspaper, has been held at the Tocuyito Prison, located in the state of Carabobo, in north-central Venezuela.

Pedro Aranguren, the journalist's lawyer, said he will file an appeal in García's case based on Article 243 of the Venezuelan criminal code, which states that "any person accused of participating in a punishable act will remain free during the legal proceedings. Deprivation of freedom is a precautionary measure that will only be applied when other precautionary measures are insufficient to guarantee the objective of the legal proceedings."

On 7 December, the journalist's legal representative denounced the delay in the proceedings against the defendant before the District Attorney. García has been in detention for more than a year and a half without so much as a hearing into his case.

Before his detention, García published information about allegations of corruption at the state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) company and was investigating a number of drug trafficking cases.

In May 2008, a few days after his detention, García's lawyer and relatives said Carabobo State Police officers had beaten and tortured him using electric shocks.

Latest Tweet:

International campaign against Internet censorship in Chad launched by @Internet_SF - Internet Without Borders to p…

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.