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December 18, 2013 10:21 pm

Sean Penn Says He Is With Jacob Ostreicher Following Escape From Bolivia

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Sean Penn. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Actor Sean Penn, a leading advocate for the release of Jacob Ostreicher, told The Associated Press that he is with Ostreicher following a “humanitarian operation” to free the Jewish businessman “from the corrupt prosecution and imprisonment he was suffering in Bolivia.”

Ostreicher, a 54-year-old Brooklyn native, traveled to Bolivia in December 2010 to oversee rice production and was arrested in June 2011 on suspicion of money laundering and criminal organization. No formal charges were ever been brought against him, but he spent 18 months in prison before being released on bail in December 2012, after which point he had remained in Bolivia on house arrest.

Penn wrote in an email to The Associated Press that Ostreicher is safe, doing well, and receiving medical attention.

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In May, Penn testified on Ostreicher’s case in a hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations.

“I thank Sean Penn for his tireless work to free Jacob,” U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who held the hearing in May, said in a statement Tuesday.

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