Jailed Bolivian journalist says trial delay is meant to keep him behind bars

Journalist Luis Zabala Farell, who has been in jail since January on charges of instigating violence on his radio show, has said his accusers are intentionally delaying his hearings to keep him in prison and off the air, Bolivia’s National Press Association (ANP) reports via IFEX.

For his alleged role in a rioting mob that attacked a police station, burned furniture, and destroyed two police motorcycles, Zabla has been charged with attempted murder, criminal association, and aggregated robbery. A judge deemed him a flight risk, so he has been held without bail since January 17. According to the ANP, the most recent hearing (March 21) was delayed by prosecutors who asked the judge to be recused.

In another court case against a Bolivian journalist, the ANP celebrated a prosecutor’s decision to refuse to prosecute Mario Caro for libel (See this Knight Center story on the case).

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.