On Monday, Venezuelan Judge José Oliveros announced that he would begin a new trial against journalist Gustavo Azócar, an outspoken Chávez critic, who has spent two months in prison without being sentenced. Oliveros, the local press reported, also upheld a decision to hold the television host and blogger in custody throughout the new trial. The news prompted press freedom advocates to express concern that the measure is intended to silence Azócar. CPJ spoke to him from prison today.
Venezuelan Judge Fanny Yasmina Becerra ordered the arrest of journalist Gustavo Azócar on July 29, 2009, stating that he violated the conditions of his 2006 parole on charges of illegal acquisition of wealth and fraud by publicly commenting on his case. Táchira state authorities took Azócar into custody at 10:30 p.m., and drove him to a local prison, according to local news reports.
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