U.S. Representative Smith Visits Jailed Orthodox Jew in Bolivia
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) visited jailed American entrepreneur Jacob Ostreicher in Bolivia, continuing a push for the New York-born Hassidic Jew’s release after more than a year in prison without formal charges or bail.
Ostreicher traveled to Bolivia in December 2010 to oversee rice production and was arrested in June 2011 on suspicion of money laundering and criminal organization. On Monday, Smith—chairman of a congressional panel overseeing global human rights—attended a hearing with Ostreicher during which the Bolivian judge passed the matter on to a higher court, “likely guaranteeing more months of delay,” according to the New Jersey legislator.
“Justice delayed is justice denied,” Smith said in a statement. “Jacob has been cooperative, patient to the extreme. There is no evidence offered against him. The rule of law must prevail in Bolivia. Innocent people must have a path to justice. He mus