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The Nicaraguan dictatorship arrested four workers of the newspaper La Prensa and accused them of conspiring

Nicaraguan Police (AFP)
Nicaraguan Police (AFP)

The Nicaraguan dictatorship accused four workers of the newspaper of conspiring the pressaincluding the journalist and the driver assigned to cover the expulsion from the country of 18 nuns of the Missionaries of Charity order, founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, last July, the Judiciary reported Tuesday.

The four employees of the press were charged with the crime of conspiracy to undermine national integrity, in real competition with the crime of spreading false news through information and communication technologies, to the detriment of the Nicaraguan State and society, according to the case disclosed by the Internet system of the Judicial Branch.

The indictment was filed by the assistant prosecutor Heydi Estela Ramirez Olivas before the head of the Fifth Criminal District Court of Managua, Nalia Nadezha Ubeda Obandowho admitted them during the preliminary hearing held last Friday.

The defendants are a journalist, an administrative assistant and two drivers of the newspaper. Úbeda Obando decreed preventive detention for the two drivers, who have been detained since last July.

The judge also issued an arrest warrant at their homes or in any place where the journalist and the administrative assistant of the press.

Likewise, it issued an order and official letter addressed to the senior commissioner Martha Martínez Ramos, head of the directorate Nicaraguan Interpolfor the international circulation of the two accused “in order to guarantee the execution of their detention.”

The facade of La Prensa newspaper, a long-standing newspaper critical of Daniel Ortega, is seen after the Nicaraguan dictatorship seized the facility to convert the space into a "Cultural center"in Managua, Nicaragua, August 23, 2022 (REUTERS / Stringer)
The facade of La Prensa newspaper, a long-standing newspaper critical of Daniel Ortega, is seen after Nicaragua’s dictatorship seized the facility to convert the space into a “cultural center,” in Managua, Nicaragua, August 23, 2022. (REUTERS/Stringer)

In the indictment, the assistant prosecutor pointed to the four employees of the press of having violated article 30 of the Special Cybercrime Law, referring to the spread of false news through information and communication technologies.

This article establishes that whoever causes alarm, fear, or anxiety in the population, or in a group or sector of a person or their family, will be sentenced to 2 to 4 years in prison and a 300 to 500-day fine.

If it harms the honor, prestige or reputation of a person or their family, a sentence of one to three years in prison and 150 to 300 days fine will be imposed; and if he incites hatred and violence, endangers economic stability, public order, public health or sovereign security, he will be sentenced to three to five years in prison and a 500 to 800-day fine.

The prosecutor said that the National Police continues to carry out investigative acts “with the aim of identifying all illegal activities and all members of the criminal organization, in addition, the conclusion of the report of social networks and other acts of research”.

For their part, the public defenders appointed by the judge to represent the drivers asked the court not to admit the accusation because the drivers are in charge of moving people and not creating content.

FILE PHOTO: A worker prepares a roll of paper before running the presses at the La Prensa newspaper's printing plant in Managua, Nicaragua.  February 7, 2020. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas/File photo
FILE PHOTO: A worker prepares a roll of paper before running the presses at the La Prensa newspaper’s printing plant in Managua, Nicaragua. February 7, 2020. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas/File photo

In addition, they asked that the accusation not be allowed because it does not detail what social networks they supposedly used to spread false news, nor what type of news it was.

The judge did not admit the defense’s request and scheduled the initial hearing for next October 13 at 2:00 p.m. local time (8:00 p.m. GMT).

Last August 23, the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega handed over to the state National Technological Institute the building owned by the pressvalued at about 10 million dollars, to build a cultural center.

The facilities of the press They were taken by force by the National Police on August 13, 2021, when the Nicaraguan regime alleged that the medium was supposedly used to commit crimes of “customs fraud, money laundering, goods and assets.”

Your General Manager, Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorronephew-in-law of the former president Violeta Barrios of Chamorro (1990-1997) -who defeated Ortega in the 1990 elections-, was sentenced on March 31 to nine years in prison for the crime of “money laundering”.

The editorial staff of the presswhich is now only published digitally, was forced into exile last July following the arrest of two employees who have now been charged.

Nicaragua has been going through a political and social crisis since April 2018, which has worsened after the general elections on November 7, in which Ortega was re-elected for a fifth term, fourth consecutive and second along with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president, with her main contenders in prison.

(With information from EFE)

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