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May 21, 2013 12:46 pm

Schumer: ‘Jacob Ostreicher Needs to be Freed Immediately’

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Jacob Ostreicher. Photo: Judea1/Wikimedia Commons.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) submitted the following statement Tuesday for the record at the Congressional subcommittee hearing, Advocating for American Jacob Ostreicher’s Freedom After Two Years in Bolivian Detention:

“Jacob Ostreicher needs to be freed immediately. He has been denied due process in Bolivia and held without formal charges for nearly two years. Though he is no longer in prison, he unfairly remains under house arrest. It is unacceptable that he remains confined even though numerous high ranking Bolivian officials have confessed their part in an elaborate extortion scheme related to this case. In fact, more than a dozen Bolivian judges and officials have been incarcerated  in connection with this extortion plot. It saddens me that this man continues to be held in Bolivia, separated from his family and unable to return home to New York. It is time he comes back to the United States, any further delay continues to be shameful and inexcusable. “

Ostreicher has been jailed in Bolivia without formal charges or bail since June 2011—first in a Bolivian prison and since December 2012, under house arrest.

Ostreicher had traveled to Bolivia in December 2010 to oversee rice production and was arrested the following year.

On Monday, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, participated in the Congressional hearing, which is examining the issue of Ostreicher’s illegal detention. In his opening statements Nadler said that Ostreicher’s incarceration  “amounts to nothing less than a horrible injustice” and added, “This is a man whose life has been unfairly put on hold, while justice is denied to him day after day.”

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